It’s no secret that many New Yorkers are struggling to get on solid financial footing. During the cold-weather months there can be additional costs that some families are not equipped to handle, such as home heating needs. In preparation for winter, I want to remind everyone of an important benefit available to New Yorkers: the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
HEAP is a federally funded program overseen by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance that provides funding for households struggling to heat their homes during winter’s harshest months. It allows those who are paying a high proportion of their household income for energy to get much-needed help making ends meet.
HEAP CAN PROVIDE AN ARRAY OF BENEFITS
Not only does HEAP help supplement annual energy costs for households and provide critical assistance for those having a heat-related energy emergency, it can also assist in covering the cost of repairs or replacements to damaged furnaces. Sometimes financial obstacles crop up that are not part of a family’s regular monthly budgeting.
For times like these, it is important to remind those who may need help that there are safety nets in place. Please help spread the word about this helpful resource. As some families and seniors struggle to balance the check book, it is important to make sure all those who may need help apply for HEAP benefits. Enrollment begins on Nov. 17.
Applications can be submitted online at https://mybenefits.ny.gov/. You can call the HEAP Hotline at 1-800-342-3009 with questions.
HOME HEATING TIPS WE ALL CAN USE
As winter approaches, we will all be faced with keeping our households safe, comfortable and warm. Here are few simple steps that can help make heating your home efficient and affordable:
- Make sure heat registers, radiators and heaters are not blocked by drapes or furniture;
- Check your walls, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets for holes or cracks that can leak air into or out of your home;
- Secure open fireplace dampers; and
- When shopping for a new appliance, look for the Energy Star label to ensure maximum efficiency.
More tips on keeping household energy costs down may be found at www.energysavers.gov/tips.