Help With Heating Bills - New York
HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program)
If you need help with your heating bill, or if you know someone who does, HEAP can help. HEAP is a federally funded program that provides assistance to eligible customers to pay their home heating bills. Customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for assistance, as funds are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 2015-2016 HEAP season is expected to open on November 16, 2015
Grant amounts vary and will be provided only while HEAP funding remains available. Additional assistance may be available for those with a heating emergency. The maximum Regular HEAP grant for customers that use natural gas to heat their home is $400. HEAP grants are immediately posted to customer accounts when they are received from New York State.
Regular grants up to $400 are available to reduce the amount of your heating bill. *A family of four earning $51,790 or less may qualify for assistance this year.
You may be eligible to receive HEAP benefits if your gross household income is at or below the following income levels:
Maximum Monthly Gross Income Limit (1)
Maximum Annual Gross Income Limit
||Add $520 Per Person
||Add $6,240 Per Person
(1) Maximum gross monthly income limits are subject to change.
Emergency Benefits: Beginning January 4, 2016, if you received a Regular HEAP benefit, you may call your county office to apply for a $350 Emergency HEAP benefit. You must have a shut off notice to apply for the Emergency HEAP benefit. Callers should be prepared with their case number, social security number, utility account numbers, household income and resource amounts (bank account balance, etc).
How do I apply for the Regular HEAP benefit?
All applicants can either apply by mail, in person, or online. If your gas is off or you have a shut off notice, you should apply for the Regular HEAP benefit in person. To apply online, please click here.
For a listing of HEAP application offices by county, please click here.
For a listing of Erie County's HEAP Outreach sites, please click here.
If you received HEAP last year you will need to submit:
- A completed application
- Proof of earned income for the past four weeks.
NOTE: Proof of unearned income (SSD, social security, worker's comp. etc) is not required.
NOTE: If you are receiving Temporary Assistance (TA) or Food Stamps (FS), you do not need to apply for HEAP. Your HEAP benefit will be applied to your heating bill automatically. However, if your gas is off or you have a shut off notice, you should call or visit your county's HEAP office.
If you did not receive HEAP last year you will need to submit:
- A completed application
- Proof of earned income for the past four weeks.
- Proof of unearned income
- Proof of each household member's identity (one of the following for each member: birth certificate, social security card, driver's license, marriage certificate, school records, or baptismal certificate)
- A valid Social Security Number for each household member
- A utility bill if you pay for heat or proof that you pay rent which includes heat
- Proof of residence (one of the following: utility bill, homeowners insurance policy, deed, tax bill, or current rent receipt with name and address of tenant and landlord or lease with name and address)
- Proof of vulnerability, if applicable
NOTE: A phone interview may be required if you do not apply in person. Be sure to provide a working phone number for the county to reach you.
HEAP eligibility is determined using the last four weeks of your gross household income. Customers who are unemployed or seasonally employed may also be eligible for HEAP to reduce the amount of their heating bills.
The State of New York has a website that provides information on health and human services programs and how to apply to them. For more information, please visit https://www.mybenefits.ny.gov/selfservice/.
Please click here for HEAP information from New York State.
If you meet the HEAP income guidelines, you may also be eligible for LICAAP - National Fuel's Low Income Customer Affordability Assistance Program. The program offers stable bills, reduced rates, and debt forgiveness. You must be using National Fuel as your natural gas supplier to be eligible for this program. Please call our business line at 1-800-365-3234 to begin the LICAAP application process.
Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund
The Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund, a first-come, first-served home-heating assistance grant program is available to provide assistance to low-income Western New Yorkers to help pay for energy-related expenses. Qualifying Western New Yorkers may receive a one-time grant of up to $300.
In order to qualify for a grant, applicants must fall into at least one of the following classifications:
- Be at least 55 years old;
- a member of their household must be handicapped or have a disability that reduces the household's income;
- have a certified medical emergency;
- or be receiving unemployment benefits.
Applicants must have made at least four payments to their heating bills within a 12-month period from the date of application. Monthly income and expenses will be verified and grant applications are processed by administering agencies. Applicants must reside in National Fuel's service territory; however, they are not required to be a National Fuel customer.
The fund provides grants that help people to:
- Prevent disconnection of their utility service;
- pay current or past due energy bills (excluding electric utilities); or
- purchase home heating fuel of any kind.
The Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is funded by contributions from National Fuel Gas Company, its customers and employees, and other private entities. This fund was established by National Fuel in 1983 and has offered grants to more than 19,000 Western New Yorkers, totaling more than $5.1 million.
Eligible families or individuals in need of payment assistance are encouraged to contact the following to find the nearest agency and determine the necessary documentation to bring to the application interview:
- The Salvation Army at 716-883-9800, extension 230; or
- Catholic Charities at 716-856-4494 or 716-218-1400 (ask for Parish Outreach).
In Chautauqua County, eligible families or individuals should contact the following:
- The Salvation Army at 716-664-4108;
- Catholic Charities at 716-366-3533 (ask for Parish Outreach); or
- Chautauqua County Office For the Aging at 716-753-4471 if age 60 or over.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about this program.
Click here for the Neighbor For Neighbor Contribution Form.
Supporting the Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund has never been easier!
Click here for more information on how you can submit your monthly pledge online.
For many of our customers, having level and predictable monthly gas payments can make budgeting easier. Our Budget Plan lets you stabilize your entire monthly bill for up to one year. The plan divides your estimated annual bill by 12 (or by the number of months you want your budget plan to be in effect).
Budget Plan participants' average bill amounts are based on a combination of the cost of gas and weather conditions, plus historic and current gas usage. Since these factors can change, we may adjust your Budget Plan amount periodically to ensure that it remains accurate.
You can now sign up for the Budget Plan online. Click here to access National Fuel's Online Account Services.
Deferred Payment Agreement
At National Fuel, we understand that some people have difficulty making payments from time to time. If you are unable to make your payment, please talk to a representative at one of our Customer Assistance Centers, or call us at 1-800-365-3234, as soon as possible.
You may be asked to provide income and expense information. Based on that, we may be able to arrange a deferred payment agreement. If your financial situation changes, we may change your payment plan.
If You're Out of Work
National Fuel representatives offer advice on programs and assistance available to customers who are unemployed or expecting a layoff. Please call us for more information.
If National Fuel is unable to resolve your payment problems, we'll find community services that may assist you. Our representatives can work together with social service agencies to help you determine if you're eligible for various public programs.
Special company programs are also available for customers with extreme financial hardships.
National Fuel offers special programs for special needs, including services for retired, elderly, permanently disabled, hearing- and speech-impaired, visually impaired, and non-English speaking customers. For more information, click here.