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Utility bill assistance from HEAP and weatherization New York

Get help paying your heating as well as utility bills in New York from HEAP, or the Home Energy Assistance Program. Government grant money can help seniors, the disabled, and elderly pay their power and energy costs. It can be combined with weatherization, which will help low income families save money on their utility bills. Find how to apply for low-income energy bill assistance grants and free conservation measures in New York below.

The two federal government created and funded programs help tens of thousands of low income families, seniors, and disabled residents in New York pay their heating as well as electric bills every year. There are also emergency HEAP grants to help families keep their utilities on, or to reconnect their power.

Grants from the New York Home Energy Assistance Program

The HEAP program has a few main components. A crisis component can expedite funds when someone is faced with a disconnection of their utilities or if they run out of fuel. The so called regular component will help pay your standard monthly heating and energy bills. No matter what your energy source is, whether natural gas, electricity, propane, wood, oil, coal, or kerosene, the resource can help if you meet eligibility standards. The Home Energy Assistance Program can also assist with the replacement or repair of existing heating equipment and furnaces if your system is inoperable.

Emergency grants from HEAP can help low-income and working poor New York families who are facing a crisis or emergency that is not of their doing and who have no other resources available to them. To apply for this grant, call your local community action agency, department of social services office, or the number below.

Monthly heating bills can be paid as well. The government program will only supplement your payments, and will not pay the entire bill. This component will help qualified low-income individuals, with a focus on families with children and the elderly. Most of the aid goes to people who pay a large percentage of their income towards heating their homes. Or there are even other resources, even such as free firewood programs.

Another key benefit is for the repair or replacement of your furnace or heating system. Grants will only pay for the primary heating source of your home, and this resource is very limited. So if your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter, and if you meet the conditions of the program, this is an example of when the Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to help.




The application period will usually start in November. The exact amount paid out to clients will vary. Some of the key factors include the applicants household size, income, the type of heating source, and whether the homeowners has a senior or young child living with them. Funds will be paid directly to the utility company that provides you with your service, and no money is sent to the applicant.

While qualifications for HEAP will change every year, in general they include you need to have a limited income, people who receive SNAP food stamps will qualify, or if you receive Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance from New York then you will automatically qualify for heating bill assistance.

Information on Weatherization services in New York

The U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services works with New York to fund the weatherization program. This is the nation’s largest and most extensive energy conservation program, and it benefits thousands of homeowners and renters. The program is free to income qualified families.

The Weatherization Program helps reduce the heating bills and energy costs of clients. Another side benefit is that it will improve the safety of someone’s homes through energy efficiency measures. While the exact amount of savings will vary, most households who receive assistance from this program will experience energy cost savings in excess of 20%, which can be the equivalent to hundreds of dollars. So what this means is that a family’s heating bill may do gown by over 20%. In order to apply or get more information, contact the community action agency in your town or county.

No matter where you live, all  cities, villages, counties, and towns are served and can benefit from weatherization. The work can be done by community-based non-profit organizations, social service offices, community action agencies, local charities, or other units of government.





First, an energy audit of your home is conducted to identify your exact needs. Some examples of the energy efficiency and conservation measures performed through the program include heating system improvements, air sealing (weatherstripping, caulking), adding wall and ceiling insulation, efficiency improvements in lighting, CFL bulbs, hot water tank and pipe insulation. As funding allows, some families may even qualify for refrigerator or freezer replacements with highly efficient Energy Star rated units or window and/or door replacement. After the work is completed, your home or apartment will be inspected to ensure the quality of work.

Applying for HEAP grants or free weatherization energy conservation

This is the state’s version of LIHEAP. To learn more on weatherization or HEAP, or to apply, call 1-800-342-3009. Or try a local community action agency, which can also provide government grants for paying utility bills from HEAP or other resources.


By Jon McNamara

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