In this article, we will be sharing with you all the ways and methods of Help with Electric Bill Shut Off for low income households and individuals. Utility Bills are one of the most crucial and huge parts of your debts list of monthly bills. These can be large enough to make holes in anyone’s pockets. And thus, considering the less fortunate and needy people, a lot of government programs, charity organizations, and utility companies offer various programs to make this easier.
Yes, it does mean that you can get Help with Electric Bill Shut Off. No matter how hard you try to cut off your electricity consumption, you cannot make it negligible. Even the lowest electricity bills can be too much for low income families and individuals. To help many such people out, there exist a number of Government Programs, charities, and also utility companies that help with electric bill shut off.
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Government Programs that Help with Electric Bill
1. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Federal Government’s Department of Health and Human Services offers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant provides 2 types of basic services. The individuals who are eligible for the program get financial assistance to pay electricity bills from the Government and Non-Profit Organizations.
The other service offered through the program is for those eligible individuals to have their dwellings weatherized to make them energy and thus cost-efficient. If you want to apply for such a program, you can apply through the Community Action Agencies.
For those low income families who are facing a disconnection notice from their Utility company or similar such emergency, they can take help of the LIHEAP Crisis Program. Such programs help with direct utility grants for low income families. Such grants are directly paid to your utility company. Generally, one can get such grants within one business day.
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2. Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
Weatherization can be very expensive for low income families and individuals in general. But once you have weatherized, you can save a lot of energy consumption, and thus, it proves to be cost-effective in the long run.
Considering its importance, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) can help to improve the energy efficiency at homes by giving free services for wall and attic insulation, furnace tune-ups, weather stripping, other minor home repairs, and so on.
3. Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
Another similar program from the Government is the Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP. The program helps needy and eligible families in paying electricity bills to avoid shut off. The program gives preference to the disabled and the elderly. You can visit the official website to know about the eligibility criteria and more of the program.
4. Heating Repair Replacement Program (HARRP)
HARRP is yet another one of the most common programs from the federal government that help with electricity and utility bills. The program could be known by different names in different cities. However, this is its most common name. As the name suggests, you can get free heating appliances repair as well as a replacement through this program. You can get assistance with this program through the Local Community Action Agencies.
5. State Assistance Programs
Similar to the Federal Government programs, there are also various programs run by the State to offer help with electricity bills for the needy and low income households. This programs can also be run alongside federal programs like LIHEAP, HARRP, etc. Plus, these programs can also help in the installation of new energy-efficient appliances as well as free insulation, etc.
6. Regulations on Heating and Utility Disconnections
A number of states have their own laws as to when a utility company can disconnect their customer’s services. The most basic law of these is that no utility companies can disconnect the customer’s electricity during cold winter months or dry summer months. This buys such people additional time to manage their budget for the utility bills. Also, those families that have either children or the elderly or people with medical needs get protection through such laws against disconnection.
Non Profit Organizations that help with Electric Bill
7. The National Fuel Funds Network
The National Fuel Funds Network is a Non-Profit Organization that works all across the nation and is linked with a number of utility companies, fuel banks, community action agencies, and so on. This organization works for those in need by raising money through charities. And then help low income families with electric bill shut off and heating bills.
8. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is one such common name that comes in almost every situation of crisis for low income families. This great organization does not only help the needy people with electricity, utility, and heating bills but also helps with food, clothes, furniture, and other such necessary items of living.
The Salvation Army Family Emergency Services is a program that helps people by providing a safety net to those who need help paying bills. Electric shut off which is considered one type of homelessness, is prevented through this program.
Apart from this, various other organizations like the St. Vincent De Paul Church, Love Inc., Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Ministry, Urban League, Jewish Federation of North America, etc., can also help you with electricity bill shut off.
9. Operation Roundup
Operation Roundup is a program that helps people by offering them cash grants to help pay utility and other bills like heating. This is a well-known program that is run by various Utility Companies. Apart from electricity, this program can also help you get help with food, rent, and medical expenses.
10. Dollar Energy Fund
Dollar Energy Fund is a Charity Organization that works with over 31 utility companies from across 12 states. This organization has been helping people in all ways they can to help with utility bills and heating bills for over 3 decades now. You can check their official website to know more about the programs that help with electricity bills.
11. Community Action Agencies
Community Action Agencies are Non-profit organizations at the local level. These are present in over 1,500 counties in the US. Basically, these local organizations administer and take applications for different federal government energy assistance programs like HEAP, LIHEAP, and more.
12. Prevention programs
These are special programs that help people who have received a disconnection notice from the Utility company for electric shut off. Such shut off protection plans are offered by local charities as well as Government organizations to help low income families get the services they should without any disruptions.
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13. Labor Union Members Discounted Heating Oil
In case you happen to be a member of the Labor Union, then you can get discounts on buying heating oil. The program also, at times, extends for propane as well as Natural gas. The Union Plus Home Heating Oil Discount is offered via the HEAT program for a discount on heating oil or even for a free service contract.
14. Free Legal Assistance
If none of the above options have been much fruitful for you, then you can always turn to the Non-profit law firms which can advise the low to medium-income families, individuals, and disabled, as well as the senior citizens about their legal rights regarding Utility Disconnections. Those who have certain medical conditions and also the elderly are given priority.
Utility Companies that help with electric bill
Utility Companies, too, have programs that will help you with electric bill shut off situation. These companies have different plans for their wide range of customers that can suit even low income families. A lot of utility companies have plans for payment that let the customers pay a fixed rate decided by their average utility bill till the last 12 months.
There are also some other options like utility companies taking your balance and adding a minimum amount to the future monthly bills till it is paid off. Such plans can help you make adjustments in the budget and at the same time provide you with the service. A number of utility companies also work with various charity organizations. Over 31 utility companies in nearly 12 states work with the Dollar Energy Fund.
What can I do if my Electricity is Shut off?
In case none of the above options helped you with electric bill shut off, then you can try contacting the Energy Crisis Intervention Program that help low income families. You can contact them in case of an electric shut off or if your utility company has passed you a disconnect notice before 24-48 hours.
In addition to this, you can also, from further on, try to cut back as much as possible on your electricity usage, which can help you minimize the electricity bills to a great extent.
Also, note that there are a number of Electricity Shut off laws that prevent utility companies from disconnecting electricity during hot summer and cold winter months. Those families that have children or a member having medical needs can also get protection through such laws.
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I hope that the above article was of use and you could all find help with electric bill shut off. In case you have any questions or if you know of any other programs or ways to get help with electric bill shut off, then feel free to put them down in the comment section. Your one comment can be very helpful to others.
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