Grandparenting

Help with Utility Bills

Here are some resources that may be of help to you.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
This Federally funded program is for low-income households in need of assistance in paying their energy bills and who meet income eligibility requirements (Applications are accepted starting each November). Heap is NOT a welfare program or loan. You do not have to pay back any money granted.

To qualify for HEAP you must:
Pay utility bills directly or have your heat included in your rent (apartment or house), and have an income that falls within HEAP's guidelines. Call (718) 291-1900.

To apply for HEAP assistance:
Bring a recent payroll stub or other proof that shows your current gross income (items showing the amount you received from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Pension Funds, etc. are acceptable).

Also bring Proof of present address; rent receipt, lease or deed.

Bring proof of total members living in your household (e.g., birth certificates, school records, etc.) and Social Security cards (or numbers) for all persons in your household.

Bring copies of your utility bills.

HEAP Application Offices:
Brooklyn
Downtown, 465 Hudston ST (Main Lobby)
Queens
Jamaica, 161-10 Jamaica Ave.
Staten Island
Staten Island Borough Hall, St. George 10 Richmond Terrace (Room 422A)

Neighborhood Heating Fund
Created by KeySpan in 1983 and administered by HeartShare Human Services of New York. Eligibility is based on New York State HEAP income guidelines (if you qualify for HEAP, you will qualify for the Neighborhood Heating Fund grant). Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Call the Neighborhood Heating Fund Infoline (718) 522-6514 for the application site located closest to you.

Energy Saving Tips
Follow these tips provided by KeySpan Energy to make your home more energy efficient and save money in the process.

  • Seal leaks around doors, windows, pipes, and ducts wtih caulking or weatherstripping.
  • Set your thermostate at 68 degrees in cool weather, at least 5 degrees lower when sleeping, and at 58 degrees when away from home for more than a few hours.
  • Your heating bill will increase 3% for every degree above 68 degrees. So, you'll pay 12% more at 72 degrees than at 68 degrees.
  • Set water heater temperature at 120 degress in your home.
  • Close vents and doors in unused rooms.
  • Insulate pipes or ducts that run through unheated areas.
  • Install glass doors in front of your fireplaces to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
  • Insulate your attic, basement or crawl space.
  • Retain heat by installing storm or thermal windows and doors, double paned glass, or economical plastic sheeting over doors and windows.
  • Operate your clothes dryer only with a full load.
  • Remove window A/C units in the winter. If you can't, enclose the units with an A/C cover to stop drafts.
  • When buying new appliances or lighting, look for EnergyStar products. They use less energy, help you save on heating and cooling costs, and reduce air pollution. To learn more about EnergyStar products, please call 1-888-STAR-YES or visit www.energystar.gov or www.nyserda.org.

Source: Brooklyn Grandparents Coalition Website.