Government grants from LIHEAP in New Mexico can be used to pay utility bills or funds can pay for weatherization services and home updates. A number of energy costs can be paid for, including winter heating and/or summer cooling bills. Low income families, seniors, and the disabled are the primary beneficiaries of the Low-Income Energy Assistance and Weatherization Programs in New Mexico.
Most of the resources are for those who pay a high proportion of their total household income on their home energy expenses. This generally means that grant money will go to low to moderate income individuals or families with children, the elderly, unemployed, and families that are struggling. Many of them have a low to moderate income so they struggle with their bills. Recipients are usually signed up at the same time for both LIHEAP and also free energy conservation resources from weatherization.
Over 10 different community action agencies and Human Services Department Offices across New Mexico administer the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The non-profit organizations are required to offer qualified applicants both regular LIHEAP, help for paying summer cooling bills, and so called crisis assistance.
LIHEAP is a federal government funded grant program that was created in the 1980s to help the less fortunate. The application process is extensive, and all applicants must meet strict income eligibility limits that are based on guidelines, including poverty level. Adequate proof and documentation needs to be provided as well when applying. The more people in your home, the higher the applicants income can be. Your application, along with proof and all necessary verifications, must be submitted through your local community action agency. Call or stop by the location in your town or county. Any type of regular cash grant from the New Mexico LIHEAP program is intended to be a one-time assistance only, and is offered to help pay for cooling and heating bills.
It provides financial assistance with payments of Electric, Gas, Propane or other types of energy resource bills. Renters and homeowners can qualify. You do not need to own your own home in order to get a grant from LIHEAP. Weatherization is also available for renters as well. Also please note that your energy source does not have to be electric or natural gas in order to receive services. All sources of fuel are covered, including but not limited to propane, wood, kerosene and even coal.
If you need low income assistance, it is important to note that your utility services need to be in a active status. You can’t already be disconnected due to non payment. The state of New Mexico cannot pay on an account that requires deposits or reconnection fees under this government grant program. It also takes time to process paperwork, so please allow your community action agency enough time to process your payment prior to the threat of disconnection. While the main program is run out of Santa Fe, dial (800) 283-4465 for more information or to apply.
If you need financial assistance in short order, then this is where the crisis LIHEAP program may be able to help. Funds can be prioritized and paid out in short order. Utility, heating, and cooling bills can all be paid in a crisis situation, which is typically when someone is faced with a shut off.
The New Mexico Summer Cooling Program is available in some years, when funding allows it. People who can benefit are senior citizens, disabled residents with medical conditions, and families with young children under six years old. People who apply need to be able to prove that they are faced with conditions that are exacerbated by extreme heat conditions. If you qualify, you may be able to receive some cash for paying air conditioning or electricity bills. Or more likely you will receive a free fan and/or air conditioning unit. The summer LIHEAP program runs during the hot summer months from May until September.
The New Mexico Weatherization assistance program can help secure permanent, long term savings on energy bills for low income homeowners and renters. It works by offering families free weatherization services for their homes. It will lower their energy consumption, and thereby reduce the home owner’s utility bills and reduce their dependency on grants from assistance programs such as LIHEAP.
The federal government and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also fund this resource, and money is used to improve the energy performance of home and residences of needy lower income families. The program uses the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry.
Your community action agency coordinates contractors and also manages the day-to-day details of the program. The state of New Mexico also can work with nonprofit organizations, towns and other local governments that provide these free services. Improvements can offset heating and cooling consumption, and therefore reduce a family‘s utility bills by up to 30% or so, with a significant amount of those savings coming during the summer months.
As with LIHEAP mentioned above, priority for weatherization is given to elderly and disabled low income persons, high energy consuming homes, low income families in New Mexico with children under the age of six years of age. Call your local community action agency to apply for this free program, or call Human Services Department at (800) 283-4465.
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