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Rhode Island heating and utility bill assistance programs.

The utility companies that operate in Rhode Island offer financial assistance programs to their customers. They focus on helping the low income and elderly families as well as the disabled. Many of the programs focus on helping to pay heating bills, however funds and aid can be provided for other energy bills as well.

Get information on the resources and options that are available to families and individuals in Rhode Island. There are conditions that need to met in order for a customer to get financial help. Learn about the grants, energy conservation and weatherization programs, and other forms of assistance that are administered.

In addition, learn about programs such as how to get free heating oil.

Narragansett Electric – This Rhode Island based utility company provides a discount rate on utility bills for low-income households amounting to about $9 per month. There are qualifications that need to be met. Dial Customer Service: 1-800-322-3223 to learn more or to apply for help.

Narragansett Electric – They also administer that Appliance Management Program. This is a program that can help people save on their utility bills. An Energy manager from your local Rhode Island Community Action agency will provide the client of the program with an appliance analysis which indicates how much each appliance costs in your home or apartment to operate and how much you might save on your monthly utility bills. If found to be qualified for the savings, you may also qualify for other items including: ENERGY STAR lighting, ENERGY STAR refrigerators, water saving and conservation measures and insulation and air sealing measures. Contact your local Community Action Agency in your town or county that may also provide fuel assistance services. Another place to call for information is the Rhode Island State Energy Office at 401-222-3370.

UniBank Fuel Assistance Fund – Programs may be able to distribute grants and funds to individuals or families who do not qualify under traditional income guidelines for assistance, help is made available to families who cannot afford the standard 100-gallon minimum delivery amount, or to those individuals or families who may have already reached their annual limit for fuel oil benefits. For more information on applying for a grant from this particular program, contact the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. by calling 508-754-1176. You can also stop by their office and apply in person, but it may be better to call at first.





Federal and state government assistance - Community action agencies across Rhode Island process applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program as well as weatherization. These are the two main utility and heating bill assistance programs for seniors, low to moderate income families, and the disabled. More details.

National Grid - This is one of the main utility companies in the New England area as well as Rhode Island. The energy provider can offer low income qualified customers, especially those facing a disconnection, with referrals to government and local non-profit organizations. From time to time National Grid may be able to provide customers with payment plans or extensions on their accounts. Read more.

Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund – This resource is the results of a statewide cooperative effort between various electric and gas companies located in the state as well as the Salvation Army. The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to any Rhode Island family or individual who, because of a temporary financial difficulty or hardship, cannot meet a month's energy expense and has not qualified for or received other energy assistance funds.

For example, they have not received assistance from government programs such as LIHEAP. The maximum fund grant provided to qualified customers is $300, the total dollar amount of which can be distributed to more than one utility. So you can pay multiple energy, heating, or gas bills with the $300. The Fund grant is given only one time per family or individual that applies per heating season and a recipient must exceed LIHEAP income guidelines. Dial 401-421-0956 to learn more or to apply for help, or click here.





Winter assistance programs - If you are behind on your heating bills, facing a disconnection, or if your furnace is no longer functioning then look into a number of Rhode Island resources. Non-profit agencies and government programs are available for low income families, and the goal is to ensure that all income qualified residents have some form of heat during the winter. Read more Rhode Island heating assistance.

By Jon McNamara

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