Having Trouble With Your Utility Bills?

May 7th 2016

If you’re having trouble meeting ends meet in order to pay your electric bills, there are a number of places you can look to for assistance. Electric, utility, water and heating bills can get pricey, whether you are living alone or with a big family. There are a number of energy bill assistance programs offered by both federal and state government organizations, non-profits and the utility companies themselves.

Who Can Offer Assistance With Utility Bills?

Government Programs

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Block Grant is a program funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. They provide financial assistance in heating and cooling homes, as well as weatherizing services to make homes more energy-efficient. If you are in a crisis situation, such as nearing discontinuation of power, you might quality for one of the LIHEAP Crisis programs.

The Weatherization Assistance Program offers assistance with making your home more energy-efficient so you can lower your electric bills. The Home Energy Assistance Program will offer financial help to cover utility bills. There are also a number of state assistance programs that will help. Contact your local government offices for more information.

Heating Bill Programs

The Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program offers free and discounted home heating and oil to the elderly and to lower income households. There are also Winter Protection Programs and plans that help out during the winter months.

Utility Companies

Most utility companies and energy providers will offer some kind of financial assistance programs. You can set up a balanced payment plan in which you pay a flat rate per moth rather than varying rates. Most companies will also offer free home energy audits to analyze how you can lower your power bills. American Water offers payment plans for water bills and water audits as well. Contact your utility companies and ask them directly if they are able to offer any assistance. 

Non-Profits

In addition to utility companies and government help, there are a number of non-profit organizations that can assist you with paying your utility bills. The Dollar Energy Fund offers grants for paying utility bills. Many law firms offer free advisement to low-income individuals and the elderly on what their rights are when it comes to utility service disconnections. 

The Salvation Army offers all kinds of help to families in need. They will provide clothing, food and utility bill assistance, as well as counseling. The National Fuel Funds Network is a nationwide non-profit that helps raise money for charitable causes and offers assistance to families who need help paying bills or conserving energy.

If you're having trouble paying your utility bills, don't hesitate to ask for help. Whether it's a more manageable payment plan, a grant or a free home energy audit, there are plenty of ways that you can receive assistance in paying for your utilities. Tough financial times have left many people in a position to ask for help, and there are a number of programs and organizations out there that are happy to provide it. 

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