Information from the Public Utilities Commission:
Managing Your Natural Gas & Electric Utility Bills
FUEL ASSISTANCE • NATURAL GAS ASSISTANCE
ELECTRIC ASSISTANCE • WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE fOR NEEDY FAMILIES
NEIGHBOR HELPING NEIGHBOR • OTHER ASSISTANCE
COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY• WINTER DISCONNECTION RULES
FUEL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (FAP)
If you or someone you know may have trouble paying for heat this winter, the Office of Energy and Planning’s Fuel Assistance Program (FAP) may be able to provide some relief. FAP is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OEP in turn contracts with six local Community Action Agencies (also known as CAAs) to provide service to eligible households.
As funds become available, the Fuel Assistance Program provides benefits to income eligible New Hampshire households to assist with heating costs. Renters and homeowners are eligible for the Fuel Assistance Program.
To apply for Fuel Assistance, contact your
Community Action Agency. If you need additional assistance please contact:
Fuel Assistance Program Manager
Office of Energy and Planning
57 Regional Drive, Suite 3
Concord NH 03301-8519
Phone: (603) 271-8317
Fax: (603) 271-2615
NATURAL GAS BILL ASSISTANCE
KeySpan Energy Delivery and Northern Utilities now offer a discount program for eligible low-income customers in New Hampshire who heat with natural gas. You are eligible for these programs if you or a member of your household qualify for any of the following programs:
- Fuel Assistance
- Electric Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Women, Infants and Children
- Commodity Surplus Foods (for women, infants and children)
- Elderly Commodity Surplus Foods
- Temporary Aid to Needy Families
- Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)
- Head Start
- Aid to Permanently and Totally Disabled
- Aid to the Needy Blind
- Old Age Assistance
- Food Stamps
Fuel Assistance recipients do not need to apply. You will be automatically enrolled in the program when your gas utility is notified about your fuel assistance benefit.
Customers of KeySpan Energy Delivery and Northern Utilities who believe they qualify should contact their gas company directly, either KeySpan at 1-800-262-4111 or Northern Utilities at 1-800-552-3044.
ELECTRIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)
The statewide Electric Assistance Program (EAP) provides qualifying customers with a discount on their monthly electric bill. The electric utilities work with Community Action Agencies located throughout the state to identify and enroll eligible customers for the statewide EAP.
The discount is based on the household gross income and the type of space heating used in the home. Eligibility is determined by total household income and the number of household members. Income is based upon a household’s gross income at the time of application. New applicants may be placed on a waiting list for benefits. However, it is very important for you to complete the application. In the event that funds become available, your application will be considered.
To apply for Electric Assistance, contact your Community Action Agency. If you need additional assistance please contact:
New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord NH 03301-2429
Phone: (603) 271-2431
Fax: (603) 271-3878
TDD Access - Relay NH: 1-800-735-2964
Consumer Assistance: 1-800-852-3793
Directions to the NHPUC
WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (WAP)
The State of New Hampshire's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is designed to reduce household energy use and costs in the homes of low-income persons throughout the state by installing energy efficiency improvements.
The Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) operates the Weatherization Program with grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OEP subcontracts with New Hampshire's Community Action Agencies (CAAs) which are responsible for operating and delivering weatherization services at the local level.
OEP, whenever possible, collaborates with the electric and natural gas utilities’ energy efficiency programs to enhance the weatherization services provided to low-income households in New Hampshire. Please contact your electric and/or gas utility for more information about the utility sponsored programs. To contact your electric utility click onto nhsaves.com. To contact your natural gas utility go to gasnetworks.com.
Once an applicant is determined income eligible, the application is placed on a waiting list. An energy auditor will contact the applicant to schedule a time to perform a comprehensive home energy audit. The audit includes diagnostic testing, which is performed by an OEP-certified energy auditor. The following are installed in order of priority based on the energy audit findings:
1 - measures designed to reduce general heat waste;
2 - wall and/or attic insulation where appropriate;
3 - evaluations of and repairs to heating systems (funding is limited).
To apply for Weatherization Assistance, contact your Community Action Agency. If you need additional assistance please contact:
Weatherization Program Manager
Office of Energy and Planning
57 Regional Drive, Suite 3
Concord NH 03301-8519
Phone: (603) 271-6359
Fax: (603) 271-2615
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES PROGRAM (TANF)
Available through the Department of Health & Human Services, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) provides cash assistance to families with dependent children through either the Family Assistance Program (FAP) or the New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP). To qualify, the dependent children must lack parental support or care due to death, continued absence or because one or both parents in a two-parent home are disabled, unemployed or working less than 100 hours a month.
The Emergency Assistance Program (EA) allows families eligible for TANF to obtain or retain safe and healthy housing. EA payments can be applied to rent, mortgage and utility arrearages; rent and utility deposits; and fuel deliveries. EA can only be used in a true emergency such as homelessness, termination of a utility, or lack of heat, hot water, or cooking fuel.
For further information, contact:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF)
Department of Health & Human Services
129 Pleasant Street
Concord NH 03301-3857
Phone: (603) 271-4238 or 800-852-3345 x4238
Fax: (603) 271-4637
TDD ACCESS: 800-735-2964
Directions to Brown Building
NEIGHBOR HELPING NEIGHBOR
The Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund (NHN) was established to help New Hampshire's working poor, elderly, handicapped, and others in financial crisis, who do not qualify for other fuel assistance and have received a disconnect notice from their electric or natural gas company. Since 1992, more than 1,100 families have been helped each year.
For more information or to apply, New Hampshire residents should contact their local Community Action Agency.
Other assistance may be found for either low-income or non low-income households by contacting:
Your town or city welfare office
Your local house of worship
Your heating vendor
The Salvation Army
COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCIES
Telephone your local Community Action Agency (CAA) office to set up an appointment or learn more about the application process for Fuel Assistance, Electric Assistance, Weatherization services, or Neighbor Helping Neighbor.
For Belknap & Merrimack Counties:
Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties Inc.
For Rockingham County:
Rockingham Community Action Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-639-3896
For Hillsborough County:
Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc.
Nashua 889-3440 / 1-877-211-0723
Manchester 647-4470 / 1-800-322-1073
Peterborough 924-2243 / 1-877-757-7048
Hillsboro 464-5835 (Monday and Friday)
Milford 673-0756 (Tuesday and Thursday)
Greenville 878-3364 (Wednesday)
For Cheshire & Sullivan Counties:
Southwestern Community Services
Keene 352-7512 /352-7513
Claremont 543-0148 / 542-9528
Toll Free: 1-800-529-0005
For Strafford County:
Strafford County Community Action
For Coos, Carroll and Grafton Counties:
Tri-County Community Action
All Three Counties
Toll Free: 1-888-842-3835
All area codes are 603
WINTER DISCONNECTION RULES
During the winter months, there is increased protection for customers of natural gas, electric and steam utilities. While customers can still be disconnected if they fail to make payments on their gas, electric or steam bills, it is more difficult to be disconnected in the winter time.
From November 15 to March 31, a utility company may not disconnect a customer’s service:
- If the customer does not use electric service for heating and the balance owed for service provided is less than $225;
- If the customer does not use gas service for heating and the balance owed for service provided is less than $125;
- If the customer has electric, gas, or steam heat, the utility may not disconnect service if the balance owed for service provided is less than $450.
Utilities must seek commission approval before disconnecting the service of residential customers known to be 65 years or older and customers with a known financial hardship.
Customers with medical emergencies have additional protection from disconnection at any time of the year. If you or someone in your family has a medical condition, which would be adversely impacted by the disconnection of your utility service, contact your utility.
For complete information regarding Winter Disconnection Rules, contact the Public Utilities Commission website or call the Consumer Assistance Line at 1-800-852-3793.