Energy Assistance Tips

The application period to apply for home heating assistance is now half over as the application period is November 1 through April 30, 2010. There have been a few things that should have been presented earlier but better late than never. Let me try to keep this short and to the point. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know.

1. Instead of calling the local application agency to inquire about a LIHEAP application (for example in Union County the local agency is PROCEED) there is a statewide LIHEAP hotline number that applicants and food stamp clients can call instead of calling the local agency which just makes them take time out from processing hundreds of applications. The hotline number – which by the way is open on SATURDAY’s – is 800-510-3102.
2. USF portability is probably a term you never heard about. Portable can be defined as carried or moved with ease. In energy assistance terms, when a utility customer who is receiving USF benefits moves to a new address, their USF eligibility can be re-evaluated by a phone call to the utility. The customer tells the customer service rep they are receiving USF benefits but they are moving to a new address. The company will evaluate the energy usage at the new address and then the state of New Jersey will determine eligibility for USF at their new location. A simple phone call. Portability.
3. Every year the staff at NJ211 compile an energy guide. The 36 page 2009-2010 publication titled New Jersey Guide to Meeting Basic Utility Needs gives useful information on programs and agencies.

You can also access the New Jersey Community Resources energy assistance programs webpage which contains an eligibility chart of various programs and links to forms. If you have other useful energy assistance tips or information let me know.