Need Help Paying Your Heating or Electric Bill
The colder months are always a cause of concern when it comes to heating or electric bills. Outside of any possible rate hikes to electricity, you never know how mild or severe the winter will be. Fortunately there are things you can do to get assistance before winter starts or during depending on your situation.
Throughout the US there are federal and state level utility assistance programs and most utility providers also have different forms of assistance. In many cases, a quick phone call to your energy company is all that is needed to get support with your heating bill.
Popular Utility Programs
LIHEAP is one of the larger and more popular energy assistance programs. They help with home energy bills, energy crises (keeping your power from being shut off) and with minor weatherization repairs that relate to home energy efficiency. They help with both heating and cooling needs.
Heating Repair Replacement Program (HRRP) is provided by the federal government and they help repair or replace heating units that are broken or inefficient. Items such as a furnace, wall unit heaters and other appliances that provide heating.
Rebates and vouchers can be a short term option and are generally handed out by certain state level government programs or actual utility companies.
Review a detailed list of different programs that provide help paying different utility bills.
In addition to the above programs, there are different things you can do to try and keep your heating bill low while staying warm. Below are a few tips.
- If you have a fireplace, there are numerous ways to get free wood.
- Close vents in rooms that you are not using
- Purchase extra blankets
- Wear extra layers of clothing and invest in a nice pair of slippers
- Don’t use a dryer in winter, instead hang dry items in your warmest room and near the heat vent.
- Keep windows covered and use door blocks (door snake) to keep drafts from coming into the home.
- If you have hard wood floors or tiles, lay down some low cost rugs in main areas.
Not all the above will be practical and there are other creative things you can do. As mentioned above, the quickest way to get assistance is to contact your energy provider and see what type of hardship assistance is available.
If after speaking to your energy provider and they are unable to provide any assistance, look to some of the government programs and even reach out to local community organizations to learn about any local assistance programs.