Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG) offers utility bill assistance to low income customers via LIHEAP and weatherization. The main program from TCOG is their Energy Services Program. This can provide direct financial assistance for paying utilities from LIHEAP or CEAP, or bill reduction measures from the free weatherization program. A formal application process is in place, and many of the guidelines are set by the federal government.
The primary goal is to provide some short term cash for paying bills while helping people save money from conservation. TCOG can be reached at 903-813-3541, or call your local community action agency or utility provider for details on these resources.
The low income LIHEAP Energy Services Program provides families with co-payment of their utilities. This is a grant and does not need to be repaid. Oftentimes the cash assistance is combined with other supportive services in an effort to transition low-income families off of public assistance and out of poverty. Utility bill assistance includes cash for paying bills for a short, specific period of time while individuals learn ways to conserve energy.
In order to determine if you are qualified for financial assistance from LIHEAP or CEAP, you need to apply at your local community action agency. Or call TCOG for guidance or applications. Initial eligibility for these programs is based on the total level of household income for all persons in the home 18 years and over, as well as the total number of people who live in the household. Other factors include the applicant’s age, whether there is a deposit due on the account, their medical condition, and the account must be in the name of an adult living in the household. Cash grants for paying utility bills is available in the Texas counties of Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties.
Weatherization will help people save money. Assistance provides for the free installation of energy saving applications to homes which can lower energy consumption (and utility bills) by up to 40%. Dial 903-813-3541 for details. Other services available include a case management program with the goal of transitioning lower income families off welfare and government assistance by providing support with the cost of expenses such as training, education, supportive services, and other necessary supplies.
The application process is formal. Each TCOG financial situation is evaluated through an application process that also involved your community action agency in Texas. Together you will determine the appropriate program service, whether it is LIHEAP, weatherization, or both. Individual goals and objectives will be identified as well as free techniques for energy conservation and budgeting which will transition the client from poverty and/or address crisis situations. This federal government weatherization assistance program is available in the Texas counties Bowie, Camp, Cass, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Rains, Red River, and Titus.
Some of the free weatherization assistance offered to Texoma Council of Governments customers provides for repairs and improvements to your homes which reduce utility bills by minimizing the infiltration of air. The benefits from the program can be provided to both renter-occupied units as well as owner-occupied homes in Grayson County. Weatherization can provide for free energy improvements such as caulking; insulation in the attic, walls, and floors; repair or replacement of heating and air conditioning units; and weather-stripping.
You will need to apply, and there is often a waiting list. Initial eligibility for the federal government weatherization program is based on the level of household income for the TCOG customer, and all occupants incomes will be considered. A focus is on seniors, the elderly, and disabled, and there is often a waiting list.
Texoma Council of Governments is committed to working with residents of these counties. Call them if you are falling behind. They will help people apply for these services, or may have other options such as help negotiate a payment plan on your behalf. Call 800-677-8264.
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