Residents who are in an emergency situation or who are facing a disconnection of their Arkansas Source Gas service can look into several different assistance programs. The primary resources available are Winter Suspension, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), weatherization and Hearts Warming Homes. However additional options, such as payment plans, may be offered in some situations.
The Home Weatherization Program will help people save money by installing cost effective measures on mobile homes or single frame houses. All improvements are free to participants. Some of the upgrades include installing insulation, replacement of broken doors and windows, caulking, weather stripping, and other energy-conservation measures.
A focus of the Arkansas Weatherization Assistance Program is on the homes of low-income families that spend a large portion of their income on their energy bills, and it can help Arkansas Gas customers as well. Of priority is the elderly, handicapped and low income families with children. Local community action agencies and the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services run the service, and they can be reached at 1-800-432-0043.
Government grants from the LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can be used to pay both summer cooling/air conditioning bills as well as heating expenses. Funds are for elderly and low income, qualified customers of Arkansas Source Gas and other energy providers. LIHEAP is another program that is run by community action agencies, which operate in most counties and towns across the region. Call 1-800-563-0012 to find an application site, or just search for an agency in your town or county.
Hearts Warming Homes is offered by the Salvation Army, in partnership with other non-profits and also Arkansas Gas. It is offered from November to April and helps with gas and heating bills that need to be paid during the winter.
Customers that have been faced with a crisis, such as abandonment by the family head of household, job loss, medical emergency, hospitalization, or some other crisis may be able to receive emergency financial assistance for paying their natural gas bills.
The program does run off of donations from customers and local businesses, so it provides people the ability to give back and contribute to helping out the less fortunate. Contact the Salvation Army or Arkansas Gas to contribute money, which will also be tax deductible.
The local Salvation Army branch in your community will be the main place to get information and apply for the Hearts Warming Homes program. Or you can dial 1-800-563-0012. Customers can only apply at most once per year. Find information on application sites and phone numbers.
Arkansas Source Gas Low-Income Customers can apply for a moratorium, meaning their utilities can’t be disconnected during the winter. This is offered in addition to the cold weather disconnection rule.
Qualified low income customers can participate in a financial assistance program that establishes a moratorium and will protect individuals from disconnection of their natural gas service for nonpayment during the colder months of the year. This is offered during the winter months of November through March. This resource is provided for people who currently receive one or more of the following. Medicaid, Women, Infant and Children Assistance (WIC), Food Stamps, Transition Employee Assistance (TEA), or Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP).
Applicants need to notify Arkansas Source Gas that they participate in one of those programs indicated above, and they need to provide documentation. They will also need to sign a written Suspension Moratorium Agreement (SMA) that obligates the customer to pay a minimum monthly payment during the suspension moratorium period. The amount they need to pay is less than a regular gas bill as it is based on and equal to the monthly payment that would be due if billed under SourceGas' Levelized Billing Plan. People need to stay current with the agreement too, as in the event that someone fails to pay the minimum monthly payment; they will be removed from the Moratorium program.
Also keep in mind that people will still need to pay any amount that was deferred. So in that regards the Suspension Moratorium Agreement is more like a temporary abatement for customers, as the bill will still need to be eventually paid. Dial 1-800-563-0012.
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