In a previous article, we offered you some tips for weathering your home during the winter months. While taking these actions can help lower your utility costs, some seniors and people living with disabilities will still need assistance with paying their utility bills this winter. Your home requires a lot of energy to run, particularly your bathroom. As one of the most used rooms in your house, it costs money every time you run a bath, take a shower, wash your hands, use the toilet, or even just turning on the lights.

Energy assistance is available for low-income residents in many states. For those who may have problems paying their utility bills, the federally-funded, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), provides cash and crisis assistance with residential heating bills.

LIHEAP helps low-income individuals pay their heating bills through energy assistance grants. Since every state has a fixed amount of money to spend on energy assistance and weatherization, you should apply as early as possible. LIHEAP operates during the heating season beginning in early November and ending in March.

 

If you're not eligible for LIHEAP, but still need some financial assistance, call your utility companies to arrange a payment plan if you fall behind your utility bills. Many utility companies have Energy Assistance Programs (EAPs) that you can access if you experience a temporary financial crisis.

Additionally, crisis grants may be available for those of you who have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your heat. Emergency situations include:

·  Broken heating equipment;

·  Leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced;

·  Lack of fuel;

·  Termination of utility service.

Another program you should be aware of is Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) through the Dollar Energy Fund. CAPs help make monthly payments more manageable for utility customers. The guidelines of CAPs vary with each utility company, but the goals are the same—to help you keep up with your bills. To apply, contact your utility company.

Can you share with us other programs that are available to help seniors and people living with disabilities manage their utility bills this winter?

Take the next step toward your independent future. Village Craftsmen offers a THRIVE Bathroom Design Safety Program to not only help you age in place, but thrive in place.  An in-home, experienced rehabilitation technician will:

* LISTEN to your concerns regarding bathroom safety

* ASSESS your bathroom with the Thrive Safety Protocol

* PROVIDE you with recommendations for your safety & fall prevention

* ARRANGE for a quote to install safety enhancements if you desire

To learn more please complete the form on this page

                                   or call 330-896-2000.