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Help with heating bills.

Find charity organizations, government programs, and non-profit agencies that help low-income families pay their heating bills. A goal of the financial assistance is to ensure a home or apartment is kept comfortable during the winter months. Get emergency help to pay heating costs, including natural gas, oil, electric bill or other forms of fuel. Crisis assistance is offered too, and learn about heating bill assistance programs below.

During the colder months, many low-income families, seniors or disabled people on Social Security (or a fixed income) and others struggle to keep up with the rising costs of heating their homes. Fortunately, there are numerous grant programs, payment plans from utility companies and other options available to assist those in need. Get details on emergency financial assistance programs to pay a heating bill, eligibility criteria, and how to apply for help to ensure that everyone can stay warm during the winter months.

Emergency heating bill help from non-profits or charities

Free and discounted home heating oil is given away. Some companies as well as mom-profits help low-income families in cold weather states get free heating fuel. A major focus is on disabled as well as elderly households or those people that are recently unemployed. There is also assistance for lower income households that are struggling to keep their homes warm. There is support for those living in poverty or impacted by an emergency, such as a illness. Find how to get free heating oil and fuel.

Another option is to use a home heating oil buying network. Companies that offer this service are in effect acting as a wholesale heating fuel oil buying club. It is similar to bulk buying, and the end result is that the service will provide individuals with lower priced, cheap heating oil. This can help low-income families up to even people that are just looking to save money on their fuel oil, and learn more on heating oil networks.

Free firewood is provided to low-income families. There are a number of homes that rely on firewood to keep their house warm and they too need help. It may be either pellets, seasoned logs or wood, or something similar. Both government programs (including LIHEAP)  as well as charities will try to help low income households that use this as a source of heat.

There may be free firewood given out, vouchers, financial assistance to pay for this source of utilities or heat, or some other form of aid. The goal is to keep the home warm during the colder months. Read more on where to get free firewood.




Utility company payment plans and assistance programs are normally available, including for heating bills.
Many electric and energy providers offer support to low-income customers to help them manage their heating costs, as the goal is to try to find a solution vs. disconnect the service. These programs are normally offered in partnership with non-profits.

Energy company heating bill help can include Flexible payment plans; free energy efficiency programs; forgiveness; budget billing as well as low-income rate discounts among others. Most utility companies are often willing to work with customers, the sick or unemployed as well as others facing financial difficulties. Families need to communicate their financial hardship and explore available options. Apply for financial help from a utility company.

Winter Shut-off Protection Programs and Plans are seasonal resources that are generally offered during the colder winter months. Some states require that utility and natural gas companies offer these plans to all customers to help people keep their heat connected during the cold winter months, especially during extreme weather events.

Households that are facing a disconnection of their utilities or heating service, but that have a senior member, young child, or someone that is sick or disabled, may be protected from a shut off of their account as long as they enter into some sort of payment program. More on winter protection plans.

The National Fuel Funds Network offers referrals, information of local resources and more. This is a nationwide, non-profit organization that is comprised of hundreds of community action agencies, utility companies, fuel banks, churches, and other charities. They are involved in raising money for charitable causes, advocating on behalf of the poor, and offering other help as well as guidance. All funds raised go towards helping families pay their electric and heating bills or paying for conservation measures. Learn more on National Fuel Funds Network energy bill programs.





Government heating bill assistance programs

Heating Repair Replacement Program (HARRP) - This is another federal government funded program that is usually offered by a local community action agency. It may be called slightly different names in each state, bit it works the same in most parts of the country. It is often used in conjunction with the Weatherization program. It can provide for the repair or replacement of heating units, appliances, furnaces, and other home upgrades. Read more Heating Repair and Replacement programs.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that provides yearly financial assistance to eligible low-income households in meeting their home heating needs. Free grant money is provided to pay for heating bills, propane, kerosene, natural gas, oil and more. Note LIHEAP is often called different names in each state. Priority is for seniors, disabled and applicants with no money.

Help with heating billsLIHEAP assistance is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. In general, a community action agency or government social service - human service office will process applications as well as distribute the grants to pay heating bills. But each state has their own application sites, but there is immediate, emergency LIHEAP for heating bills as well.

Eligibility for heating bill assistance is based on household income, size, and energy costs. Government benefits can be applied directly to fall, winter or spring utility bills, or in some cases, provided as a one-time cash grant to help with heating expenses. To apply for LIHEAP for heating bills, select a state below.































New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota








Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







Washington DC

West Virginia



Conclusion - Help is offered to pay winter heating costs

No one should have to choose between heating their home, stay safe and warm and pay for essential expenses. Fortunately, there are numerous charity organizations, government programs, and non-profit agencies available to assist low-income families and individuals facing disconnection or struggling to pay their heating bills as noted above.


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By Jon McNamara


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