Help for heating bills in Oregon.
Funds can help prevent disconnections of your heating service in Oregon during inclement weather. Many social service agencies work closely with energy companies and non-profits to try to provide low income families the help they need during difficult periods.
One of the main programs available is Oregon HEAT. It is administered by a non-profit organization that operate in cities and counties across the state. The program works with government agencies, social service organizations, and other groups in order to assist low income residents who are faced with an emergency, such as those who are about to have their heat shut off during the winter.
Staff from Oregon HEAT work closely with all energy and gas companies, including West Oregon Electric Cooperative, Cascade, Pacific Power, and PGE as well as government agencies. They process and screen applications, and can disburse financial aid to qualified lower income households. The non-profit also administers a recovered heating oil program. Other aid can help households pay for all fuels such as heating oil, propane, gas and wood.
The non-profit also offer education and information on conservation as well. A key is also working with community partners to provide low-income households, seniors, and others with the tools they need for self-reliance over the mid to long term. This can often best be met via free conservation education and energy resources.
The program relies heavily on contributions from people in the community. It provides individuals the opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors and to provide kindness and warmth to the less fortunate. The money that is donated to the organization will be used to help people in need pay their winter heating and natural gas bills. About 90% of what is donated goes directly to helping households.
The Oregon HEAT program and the agencies it partners with help people meet their needs during challenging times. The non-profit also works with nearly 30 partner agencies and charities located throughout Oregon to help seniors, the disabled and low-income Oregonians with emergency heating bill assistance.
Many energy companies offer programs that are partly funded by donations from customers. A common name of one resource is Customers Helping Customers, and these programs are often available for paying heating bills if you have not received any other funding from government resources. Other versions or names can include Helping Hand, which is offered by Emerald PUD, or Share the Warmth. Call your energy provider to inquire.
Other heating bill assistance programs in Oregon are known as the Oregon Low Income Gas Assistance Program (OLGA) or the more generically named Energy Assistance Program. Most of these are funded by the federal government. The number of residents that can be assisted is limited.
OLGA can provide energy education, emergency heating bill assistance, and also referrals to other services and agencies. Documentation will always be needed as part of the application process, including proof of income, information on all household members, and more. Limited funds and grants are available and disbursed on a first come and served basis. Call your local community action agency, or CSC office.
The state mandated resource is Oregon Energy Assistance Program. Customers who are faced with a disconnection are given priority. This is the state’s version of LIHEAP, and it can assist eligible homeowners and renters with paying their energy bills. Some of the main beneficiaries are households with children under the age of six, seniors, and the disabled.
Another non-profit in the Portland Oregon area is the Community Energy Project (CEP). The organization provides consumers with free workshops on weatherization services. While more limited, they will also try to coordinate and pay for free energy conservation and weatherization measures to your home, including safety repairs. Most of this support is targeted at low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Families with children can also often enroll.
Additional support in the form of water conservation services may also be offered to qualified lower income seniors and people with disabilities in Oregon. This serve also ramps up during the winter, when people are faced with excessive heating costs. The non-profit Community Energy Project also works with non-profit organizations, utilities, foundations, government agencies, and corporations.