Knowing how to get help paying utility bills is just a matter of getting creative and knowing a few tips and tricks. The below article will detail a few local resources you may want to explore if times are getting tougher and your toes are getting colder, or, in the case of summer heat, your armpits are getting sweatier!
- The first thing you should do to get help paying utility bills is to contact your local provider before the ultimate demise occurs and you’re really in the dark (literally!). You might be surprised at how forgiving your local utility provider is with offering a payment plan or even reduced rates.
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If you have a special situation in your household, such as someone requiring oxygen, it might be illegal for your utility provider to cut off your electricity so make sure your electric company is aware of any special circumstances in your household.
- Check into a budget plan with your utility provider. Ask your local utility provider about getting on a budget plan where the cost of your utility is spread out over twelve identical payments. It might mean that you pay a bit more for the months when you don’t use as much electricity but a budget plan will help you know exactly how much money you need to shell out per month.
- Check out LIHEAP, a national program. The first place to look is LIHEAP (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program). LIHEAP was designed to help those people with low income still retain heating and cooling. There are pretty strict guidelines to qualify for LIHEAP and the guidelines change from state to state.
- In addition to the national program LIHEAP, every state has a separate program to assist in paying utility bills. But, as in the LIHEAP program, each state has separate requirements so make sure that you check with the state where you live. Click HERE to go to the website where you can check your state’s programs.
State run programs may help those with low income, with young children, or the elderly. Some of the state run programs may assist with reducing utility bills by offering free winterizing for homes or apartments. This link will take you to the Maryland website which has a quite nice program regarding winterizing to reduce utility bills.
- And, of course, there’s always asking for help with your utility bills from family members. The trick to this tip though is to make sure you’ve trimmed as much of your house’s operating budget as you can – in other words, ditch the cable tv and internet so that family members realize you are, indeed, living lean.