Heating bill assistance in North Carolina.

Most energy companies in North Carolina offer programs to help low income customers pay their heating bills. Some of the resources are offered in partnership with local non-profits, the state or federal government, and others are offered directly by utility companies in North Carolina. Find the primary ways to get assistance with paying your heating bills below.

Duke Energy is the largest energy company in North Carolina, and they provide the Share the Warmth program to customers in Charlotte and throughout the state, including in the western portion. This program is paid for by donations from Duke Energy shareholders, customers, and non-profits. Money is provided to low income and qualified customers for paying their heating bills during the winter.

A few utility companies offer Operation Roundup. While it does not strictly focus on providing help for paying gas and winter heating bills, and it is often run with a non-profit foundation, the program can provide funds for paying for things like a furnace repair and sometimes it may in fact help with energy costs. Some companies in the western part of the state, including in Asheville and the mountains, offer Operation Roundup. Blueridge Electric Membership Corporation (828-758-2383) as well as Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation (1-800-215-9915) are two examples of companies that run the program.

The Energy Neighbor Fund is available as well in many parts of the state. It is funded by donations from the public and often with matching grants from utility companies. It is a fuel assistance program that helps pay home heating bills, especially for those people faced with an emergency that they did not create. It can pay for natural gas, oil, kerosene, wood, and other sources of heat. Some North Carolina companies will call it EnergyShare, and while funding is limited, it will focus its aid for all customers who face financial hardships from unemployment or some form of family crisis.

Government grants for paying heating bill are offered from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. It provides a one-time payment directly to your gas or heating company, and the money is used to help eligible households pay their winter heating and/or natural gas bills. Call your local social service office or the Division of Aging and Adult Services to apply, or call 919-733-3055.





Several energy companies in North Carolina are known as cooperatives, and they are non-profit providers that often serve the western part of the state and counties such as Rutherford and Buncombe. Examples of these companies include Haywood Electric.

These cooperatives almost always have heating bill assistance programs for less fortunate members and the unemployed. Programs were designed to assist individuals or families who are experiencing hardships, and the assistance can help them with paying energy costs brought about by decrease in household income, extreme cold weather conditions, or for customers who are experiencing an unexpected or unusual crisis beyond their control. They also partner with their local Department of Social Service. Some of the program names are Helping Each Member Cope or Member Cares. Call your cooperative to inquire.

The Salvation Army also may offer financial assistance in some parts of North Carolina from the Heat Care Fund. Donations from customers and generous members of the community provide direct assistance to those struggling to pay their winter heating bills.

Save money on your heating and gas bills from weatherization. This is offered by your local Department of Social Services, or call 1-800-662-7131. The federal government will pay for and coordinate (through local partners) the installation of energy saving improvements to qualified households. The resulting updates to your home can help you potentially save a significant amount of money during the winter months.




By Jon McNamara

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