Financial assistance from National Fuel in Pennsylvania.

In addition to government assistance programs to help pay utility bills in Pennsylvania, National Fuel also provides payment plans, a program known as Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund, and other financial aid. Thousands of low income customers across Pennsylvania receive help with paying their gas bills every year. Information on the leading programs and resources are below.

Government programs that help National Fuel customers in Pennsylvania

Home heating bill assistance from the federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This government program can provide financial assistance and grants to qualified low income, senior, and disabled Pennsylvania customers of National Fuel. Funds from LIHEAP are very limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so any interested customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for grants and cash assistance. Any grant received from the government will be applied directly to your National Fuel gas bill. The exact amount of cash provided by LIHEAP will vary based on your income and number of family members.

A crisis program is also offered for families in Pennsylvania. This can help you pay your bills when faced with a disconnection, or it can help restore service. Customers who are applying for an LIHEAP Crisis grant will need proof of their hardship, and applicants will need to have received a shut-off notice from National Gas.

In order to apply for grants from LIHEAP, individuals will need to stop by and apply at your local county community action agency or social service office. Both renters and homeowners can apply for the federal government Low Income Home Heating Assistance Program.

Full conservation and weatherization treatments may be provided by National Gas to individuals in Pennsylvania. This can also include heating system and water heater replacement, which is the replacement or repair of faulty, hazardous or non-operational primary heating/water heating equipment.





Assistance for gas and energy bills from National Fuel

The National Gas Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is created and paid for by donations. Over the years millions of dollars have been provided to needy people in Pennsylvania. This resource can provide cash grants to pay current or future energy bills, can help prevent disconnections, and can also be used to purchase home heating oil.

In order to apply for National Gas Neighbor For Neighbor, contact National Gas, the Salvation Army, or your local community action agency in Pennsylvania. All funds are limited, and based on donations from the community. Money is paid out on a first come, first serve basis for this program too. Priority is given to qualified customers including seniors 55 years or older. Another priority for financial assistance is households with a member that has a handicap or disability. All money is paid out on as needed basis. Call 1-800-365-3234, or find a local Salvation Army office in Pennsylvania.

Discounts can be offered by the Low Income Residential Assistance Program. In total, savings of up to 70% on your rate may be provided to qualified National Gas customers. Savings are based on income and household size. Customers may also be able to receive debt forgiveness for timely bill payments, and their current debts on unpaid bills may be eliminated over 24 months.

Some of what is offered by LIRAP includes reduced billing based on a percentage of the household's income and arrearage forgiveness. Additional assistance may be provided from other resources for those who are disabled, at least 62 years of age, or blind. Some of the aid can include emergency heating equipment repair or replacement, a lower monthly gas rate, and energy conservation measures depending upon individual circumstances. Dial 1-800-365-3234.





Budget Plans are available for all National Fuel Gas customers, regardless of their income or financial situation. Many people feel that having a predictable and monthly amount due on their gas bills can make budgeting easier, and it can help individuals control their financial situation. The Budget Plan helps people control and stabilize their gas bill for up to one year. The program will proceed to divide your estimated annual gas bill by 12, and that is how much you will need to pay every month.

If you sign up for a budget plan, the amount that you need to pay will be based on a combination of the cost of wholesale natural gas and weather conditions, plus your household’s historic and current gas usage. The amount that you owe will be updated from time to time to take into effect any changes to these factors.

National Fuel Deferred Payment Agreements are offered for Pennsylvania families. The energy provider realizes that people can be faced with short term hardships, and that they may need help. If you are falling behind on your gas bills, and if you are unable to make a payment, please talk to a customer service representative at one of their centers, or dial 1-800-365-3234.

Details on your hardship may need to be provided, including your total household income and expenses. If you qualify, then you may be signed up for a deferred payment agreement on your account. If your financial situation changes, they may change your payment plan or the amount due on your monthly gas bills.

Many people in Pennsylvania have had a reduction in work hours, or have been laid off. If this has happened to you, then customer service representatives from National Fuel may be able to offer advice on assistance programs. Financial aid is available to customers who are expecting a layoff or who are currently unemployed and looking for a new job. Call them for details.

Referrals to state of Pennsylvania programs and local agencies may be provided. The energy company has details and lists of community services and government programs that may assist you. This can include LIHEAP, weatherization, or local non-profits like the Salvation Army. National Fuel can work together with these organizations and social service agencies to help you determine if you're eligible for aid from these various public programs. Also keep in mind that special company programs (as listed above) are also available for customers with extreme financial hardships or conditions. Call National Fuel Gas at 1-800-365-3234 or 814-871-8200.

Special Needs Programs are offered. These are focused on those who are hearing- and speech-impaired, retired, elderly, permanently disabled, non-English speaking customers and those who are blind or visually impaired.





Applying for help

There are a number of programs listed above. Community Action Agencies in Pennsylvania can offer assistance or resources. National Fuel also has a customer service line for PA customers to get help, including payment plans as well as other resources. Dial 1-800-365-3234 or another intake number is 814-871-8200.


By Jon McNamara

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