by Tanya Harding
With the rising household demand for electricity, particularly during winter and summer, many low earners and widows could not afford the price they have to pay for keeping the house either warn or cold. The matter gets worst with the increasing cost of electricity on every state around the nation. Now, any family with little income or widows who receive small pension have nowhere to go but to seek help.
Good thing, there are several institutions who are willing to take care of household’s electric bills or do some makeovers on homes in order to make them electric efficient. These are called home energy assistance program.
There are several types of home energy assistance program. If you fall on the category of those who need help on electric bill, here are the things you need to know:
Note: Several institutions use different names on the programs they offer. Each state across America also uses own terms. Thus, the terms below may not be available on your State but the descriptions may be similar or the same. (We will try to be as general as possible.)
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – In general terms, the LIHEAP subsidizes the energy consumption of households with low income. Some programs cover only a specific period, usually during winter or summer. On some STATES, LIHEAP helps households to pay past due electric bills, pay current electric bills, and even improve the home to become energy efficient. To further reduce future electric bills.
Those who want to afford the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program should fall on the categories stated. Remember that every State has their own criteria in selecting households that qualify to the program. You may want to check on these from your local government.
Weatherization – Homes should be built and adapt to the particular climate to maximize home energy consumption. This program covers the cost of home improvement to adapt for the coming winter or summer. Normally, the wetherization programs include changing the home’s windows, installing window plastic covering and weather stripping among others.
Subsidizations – Some states shoulder a portion of the electric consumption of households who cannot afford the high cost of heating during the winter season. Low-income earners are the usual beneficiaries of this program.
Energy Budgets and Energy Conservation Counseling – On some states like Wisconsin, program such as this teaches residents on how to maximize the use of electricity especially during the winter season. The Energy Budgets and Energy Conservation Counseling is one of the more effective ways to ease the burden of those who could not afford to pay for heating.
Home Energy Assistance Program – On most states, the Home Energy Assistance Program or the HEAP provides financial assistance to eligible families to offset their previews and current electric bills. Both the LIHEAP and the HEAP vision one and the same goal.
Emergency – There are times when climate exceeds to the normal expectations. The winter may sometimes become so harsh on a certain period of time that households tend to increase their heating consumption. The emergency assistance program is a contingency program that helps those who cannot afford the extra cost of heating during the winter.
The Children, The Elderly, and The Disabled – Some states offer Home Energy Assistance Program that aims on helping the children, elderly and disabled to get through the winter.
Cooling Assistance – Some states do not have problem with winter but they have problem with the heat of the summer. And on many cases, low-income households need extra energy to cool down their houses. States that lay on areas where there are extreme heat offer cooling assistance. This can fall under HEAP or LIHEAP. The aim is similar.
All these programs have eligibility criteria. To know what are those and to identify what specific type of program do you fall, you must contact your state, local County Social Service Office or institutions that offer these programs. Scout on the internet and look for the sites that offer Home Energy Assistance Program on your State. Researching online willsurely give you more information about the particular Home Energy Assistance Program you need.
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