|Our new source of heat, bought used off a local FB group.|
NIPSCO's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) starts taking applications tomorrow, Nov. 4th. It's also been called "Project Safe". This is one of the least invasive assistance programs out there. While it primarily serves homes with elderly or young children in them, you might qualify even if you are single. You can find a list of what you need to bring as well as Community Service Agencies that disburse the funds by clicking this link >>>LIHEAP. If you don't live in an area served by NIPSCO, contact your utility company to learn if there is an energy assistance program in your area.
LIHEAP provides a one time donation to offset the cost of heating over the winter. They also provide assistance with summer cooling, sometimes without having to complete another application. Other than providing help via funds, people who are enrolled in LIHEAP don't have to worry about getting their utilities shut off until March. That doesn't mean you aren't racking up the bills, but it does mean you can stop worrying that you won't have heat over the winter. In some cases, they will also help you winterize your home whether that means putting a furnace in or sealing up leaks.
Being enrolled in this program also means you get enrolled in NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE), which means you get a reduced rate on your bills from 11-26%.
Still worried? If you are facing a disconnect notice, you might qualify for NIPSCO's Hardship Program. People who make up to 200% of the poverty level qualify as long as they bring the right paperwork. You will need to have a disconnect notice to qualify.
Again, if you don't use NIPSCO or you don't live in the area, take a closer look at your utility provider's website. They likely have a similar program.