AARP NY and PULP urge New Yorkers on low and fixed incomes to apply for heating assistance
A lot of Harlem to the Hudson saw a significant increase in their utility bills last winter.
Residential natural gas bills will skyrocket 29% again this heating season according to the utility, the State Civil Service Commission Projects.
These spikes in energy supply costs will likely prevent many New Yorkers from paying their utility bills as temperatures begin to drop.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps people with low, moderate and fixed incomes pay their utility bills. Congress recently added $1 billion to the program, but many eligible customers are unaware of this support option.
Benefits open November 1, 2022.
In these times of inflation, many New Yorkers have safeguards against having their utilities shut down during abnormally high or low temperatures, but many now face the prospect of having their utilities shut down or having to choose between heating their home and buying basic necessities. like food and medicine.
“For many New Yorkers on low and fixed incomes, heating a home can be a significant strain on their monthly budget, but the high cost of energy has made it even worse this season,” said Beth Finkel, director of AARP in New York State. “Now is the time to make sure the people and families who need this help can get it. We encourage all eligible residents to apply for LIHEAP as soon as possible.
“HEAP is a lifeline for many low and fixed income households. As heating season begins and home energy consumption increases, it’s crucial that New Yorkers know that help is available,” said Laurie Wheelock, executive director and advisor to the Public Utility Law Project. “It is particularly prudent that eligible households with overdue bills enroll as soon as possible to also take advantage of the state’s electricity and gas debt relief program before the end of the year.”
HEAP can provide up to $976 to eligible homeowners and renters based on income, household size and how well they heat their home. To qualify for HEAP heating assistance, a family of four must have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,485 or an annual gross income of $65,829. The Emergency HEAP Benefit (EHEAP), which is available to low-income New Yorkers for heat or heat-related emergencies, is scheduled to open on January 3, 2023.
Importantly, receiving HEAP will automatically enroll customers in their utility’s low-income Energy Accessibility Program (EAP), which offers customers a discount on their monthly electricity and/or gas bills. EAP-enrolled households with overdue bills will receive immediate, much-needed relief through a one-time bill credit that eliminates backlogs accumulated through May 1, 2022. Any eligible customer who enrolls before December 31, 2022 is eligible for the advantage.
Most eligible New Yorkers can register with the state Office of Temporary Assistance and Disability at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/apply/#heap or contact their local department of social services for more information. New York City residents can visit their local Human Resources Administration (HRA) office or call the HRA HEAP Information Line at 1-800-692-0557.
Households struggling to pay their energy bills can also talk to their local utility about setting up a level payment plan (often called budget billing) and enrolling in audit programs. energy efficiency and weatherization (to help you save money by reducing your energy consumption). .
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose their lifestyle as they age. With a national presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and champions what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the most popular publications in the country: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.
Since 1981, the Public Utility Law Project of New York (PULP) has been the only independent organization that educates, advocates and advocates on behalf of New York City’s low-income utility consumers. Learn more about www.utilityproject.org or follow @UtilityProject on social media.