Winter's Effects Linger...
Ways of Dealing with Heating Bills, This Winter and Years to Come
Heating costs have
Now that the worst of winter's bone chilling blasts are a memory, some Nebraskans are finding their heating bills will linger for a much longer time. The Energy Information Administration has estimated this winter's natural gas bills will be 30 percent higher than last year.
For some, paying those bills could be a challenge. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, low-income families typically pay at least 14 percent or more of their annual income for energy expenses, compared to only 3.5 percent for those with higher incomes.
For those who find themselves with large unpaid heating bills, there are several types of assistance that may be available:
Citizens with limited incomes
can receive assistance
While weatherization services are free, access to services is based on income. Current income limits are listed at http://www.nol.org/home/NEO/wx/incomelimits.htm
- The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available to those with limited incomes. Grants to help pay for the cost of heating may be available from the state's Department of Health and Human Services. To find out more about grants to pay utility bills can be found at http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/fia/energy.htm
Home weatherization can
lower your utility bills
Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program makes improvements in homes
so that less energy is used and utility bills are reduced. These services
cannot help with unpaid utility bills, but could be effective in reducing
the heating bills for next winter
In the most recent year, more than 1,250 homes were weatherized in Nebraska. The types of improvements typically made on most homes are listed at http://www.nol.org/home/NEO/wx/improvements.htm
To find out the weatherization services provider closest to you, click on
http://www.nol.org/home/NEO/wx/localcontacts.htm which will take you to an interactive map of the state. Simply click on the county where you live to locate the nearest office where you can apply for weatherization services.