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Maine energy and heating bill assistance programs.

A variety of assistance programs can provide help to Maine residents with paying utility, heating, and energy bills. Many of the resources and assistance programs are administered directly by utility companies. Other financial aid may be provided by the state of Maine to the low income, elderly, and others who are facing a crisis. Get information on the various programs and options available.

Bangor Hydro Electric – Two different options are offered. One is being Emergency Assistance Program. This option is limited to AFDC families, or families with children under the age of 18, who may be eligible for aid from AFDC. One of the assistance program’s primary functions is to assist families in paying past due energy-related costs and heating bills in order to avoid being shut-off or disconnected. The second option is additional benefits for LIHEAP-eligible customers. These customers may qualify for an additional rate discount. Call 1-800-499-6600 or 947-2414, or call your local community action agency for more information.

Central Maine Power – The Electricity Lifeline Program may be able to offer qualified working poor and low-income customers a credit on their monthly utility or electric bill. This credit is based on total household income and it is also based upon the estimated electricity usage and is applied to your utility bill for the same amount each and every month, up to 12 months. Call 1-800-750-4000.

Central Maine Power – This utility company offers qualified customers the Low-Income Energy Management Program. The program provides electric water heater and pipe insulation and water conservation measures to help people save money. 1-800-750-4000

Central Maine Power - Various other resources and services are administered by this utility company. Low income families, seniors, disabled, and unemployed may qualify for payment plans, weatherization, or other emergency and crisis grants. Read more on assistance from Central Maine Power.

 

 

 

 

Emergency Charitable Assistance – A charity type organization in Maine to help with utility and heating bills is Maine Sea Coast Mission. The agency can provide emergency assistance and financial aid for paying heat, electricity, free food, groceries and other emergency circumstances for island and coastal communities from mid- to Downeast coastal Maine. Call 1-866-207-4010. Click here for more information on LIHEAP.

Government programs and financial aid - Low income families, seniors, and those faced with poverty can apply for programs from the state of Maine and the federal government. Cash grants are provided from LIHEAP, and funds can go to paying heating and gas bills during the winter. Or apply for free energy conservation and efficiency resources from weatherization. More information on low income Maine energy bill assistance.

Low-Income Assistance Program (LIAP) – This is offered in addition to the federal government LIHEAP program. The program LIAP is available to make electric, heating, and utility bills more affordable for LIHEAP-eligible customers. The Maine State Housing Authority administers implements and coordinates the statewide plan to individuals and families who qualify for help. To learn more or to apply for help dial 207-626-4684.

 

 

 

 

Maine Low Income Refrigerator Replacement - This was created from a partnership from the Maine State Housing Authority, the Efficiency Maine, and also the state’s Community Action Programs. The replacement program replaces inefficient refrigerators and it may also provide help by installing energy efficient lighting in the homes of qualified low to moderate income consumers.

Individuals or families that have incomes at or below federal government poverty guidelines, or slightly higher if household has an elderly member or a child less than 24 months, may be eligible for the program. Call your local Community Action Agency, as they administer the program. Call 207-287-8350

Maine Public Service Company - PowerPact is available for LIHEAP-eligible customers who keep current with paying their monthly utility and heating bill payments every November – March. These customers may receive a credit of up to $220 on their energy bills in June. Aroostook County Action Program determines eligibility for aid, and to get help or more information call Presque Isle 768-3053; Fort Kent 834-5135; Houlton 532-5311; or dial 1-800-585-3053. For even more information about the assistance program, call the Customer Service Department at MPSC: 1-877-655-4448 or you can also dial 207-760-2300.

Maine Public Service Company - There are several other financial assistance programs available for qualified low income customers. They range from payment extension plans, resources for the disabled (such as PowerPACT Program) and government assistance including LIHEAP. Families can also apply for general assistance from your local town. Many Emera and Bangor Hydro Electric customers may be able to qualify as well. Find more information on Maine Public Service Company assistance programs.

State of Maine Assistance – This option is also available for all residents. The Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants may be able to be used as a form of assistance. The state gives grants and loans to very low-income homeowners to deal with housing issues, including the repair, improvement, or modernization of their homes. Loans can also be used to remove health and safety hazards that people may have in their rural homes. The funds and grants are provided for up to 20 years at 1% interest rates. This makes repayment easier.

Grants, which are “free money” as they are not loans, may be for people who are 62 years of age or disabled. Keep in mind that loan/grant combinations may be arranged for applicants who can repay part of the cost. To apply or to learn more, call 1-800-352-8963 Ext. 161 and they will connect you to the correct office in your town or city in Maine. Or find more details on charitable free home repairs.

 

 

 

 

Statewide assistance programs - The Maine General Assistance Program is available to residents of every town in Maine. The program may be able to provide help to people in emergency situations, including energy and heating emergencies and disconnections of service. Dial 1-800-442-6003, or 207-287-2826, or stop by your local town office for more information.

Unitil - This company provides natural gas and energy services to tens of thousands of customers in Maine. For those who are struggling, or who meet low income guidelines, several assistance and discount programs are available for your utility bills. They range from payment plans to budget billing and several arrearage programs. Read more on Unitil assistance programs.

By Jon McNamara

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