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Utility bill assistance from CEAP and weatherization programs in Texas.

Low income utility bill assistance in Texas is provided by the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) as well as weatherization. The two programs work together in helping qualified households control their energy costs, save money, and can help families pay for their immediate energy needs as well as bills. Find how to apply for these free grant programs below, as well as an application phone number.

Both of these state resources are partly funded by the federal government as part of the LIHEAP program, and they are administered by the local community action agency or Human Resources in Texas. There is an emergency hot-line to call (see below) to be referred to local utility bill assistance programs as well as information on free energy conservation measures, including weatherization. The two services work together in order to integrate all government low income programs, which will help ensure they are as effective as possible.

Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program

Financial assistance for paying utility bills, including free government grants to pay summer cooling and air conditioning bills as well as winter heating costs, are provided by CEAP. The federal and state government program was created in order to help low income and working poor families and individuals pay their bills. It also offers energy education and other services. Applications are taken, and funds are distributed, by your local community action agency.

A key objective for the program is to help low income disabled, elderly, and families with children pay their bills. These groups are considered the most vulnerable to the high cost of energy for home cooling and heating fluctuations. So CEAP can provide financial assistance and cash grants, and aid can be used to pay up to four of the highest bills during the year. Furthermore, the program also provides assistance during severe weather, in an energy-related crisis, or when a household has supply shortages.

One key service is the Elderly Disabled Component, which targets relief to households comprised of low income disabled and/or elderly persons. This is done to primarily address their vulnerability to the high cost of home energy bills.

 

 

 

There are a few main goals. They are to provide financial assistance in an energy related crisis, offer relief to lower income seniors, children and disabled households who are most vulnerable to excessive utility or cooling bills, and address efficiency. The state wants to help people keep their power on. The Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program is often partnered with weatherization (see below), and together they can assist a household in developing goals for energy self-sufficiency through a co-payment utility plan and case management, and it can address inefficient home heating and cooling appliances through a replacement, retrofit, or repair program.

Each application will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and any financial aid provided to the applicant will depend on a number of factors. Some people may receive from CEAP help with the payment of a utility bill. Others may qualify for repair or replacement of an appliance, and they will receive an energy efficient model. All resources emphasize the saving of energy, and residents applying for help must also participate in energy conservation education.

Conserve energy from Texas weatherization

Save money on your utilities from the free state of Texas Weatherization Assistance Program. This service is also paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy, and it is free to income qualified families. Some recipients can save hundreds of dollars per year on their annual energy costs. Steps of the program, also known as WAP, include the following.

Receive an energy audit, which is a review and analysis of your home's energy efficiency. This can identify any inefficient appliances you own and/or where air leaks may be occurring in your home. After the audit is completed, improvements will occur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contractors will then coordinate the installation of free weatherization measures to increase energy efficiency. This includes, but is not limited to, caulking; weather-stripping; adding ceiling, wall, and floor insulation; duct work; the tune-up, replacement or repair of energy inefficient heating and cooling systems or air conditioners; and patching small holes in the building. All updates are permanent and are free to qualified applicants.

Weatherization is not a home renovation program. So don’t expect it to address cosmetic improvements that do not directly affect the heating and cooling needs of your home. The objective is to reduce the amount of natural gas or electricity Texas residents use, which will save people money. The program does have limits in place to the amount of money that can be spent on a home.  The type of work done will be based on the overall condition, and this is decided after an assessment which will identify the location of cracks, spaces, and holes where air escapes.

Apply for help in Texas

Some of the eligibility requirements are as follows. Applicants need to be a Naturalized or United States Citizen. Low income levels that are determined by and put into place by the federal government need to be met. Documentation includes, but is not limited to, paycheck stubs for every adult and proof of income. Copy of electric bills as well as proof of energy consumption history for the previous year. You will also need the birth dates and social security numbers for every household member.

Both the weatherization program and Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program, or CEAP, are paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the LIHEAP grant block program. However they are run by community action agencies in Texas. In order to apply or get more information on utility bill help, call (877) 399-8939. The hotline is available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There is a separate number to dial for details on weatherization. While the program is also run by local community action agencies, for referrals dial 888-606-8889 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and this line is available Monday through Friday.

By Jon McNamara

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