As below freezing temps are forecasted for the weekend and further into January, National Grid issued a press release today reminding its Rhode Island customers to take advantage of several energy programs that can help them pay and manage their energy bills.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), commonly referred to as Heating Assistance, provides eligible households with help in paying a portion of winter heating bills. Enrollment for LIHEAP is free and open through April 30, 2022 and covers energy usage from November 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. LIHEAP is open to both homeowners and renters including households whose cost of heat is included in rent, and eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member 18 years of age or older.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline recently announced that Rhode Island has received a total of $52.7 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) available this fiscal year. Customers can learn more about LIHEAP and the eligibility requirements by clicking here or by visiting a local Community Action Program (CAP) agency to apply for assistance.
Along with LIHEAP, National Grid also encourages Rhode Islanders who are struggling to pay their utility bills to learn about the Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF). For more than 35 years, the GNEF has aided Rhode Island households who are unable to meet a current energy expense due to financial difficulty. Through a cooperative effort between sponsoring energy companies, United Way of Rhode Island, the business community, and the people of Rhode Island, the Good Neighbor Energy Fund has assisted more than 47,000 families since its inception in 1986. Rhode Islanders who need assistance from the Fund — including as a result of the COVID-19 crisis – can also visit a local CAP agency to find out if they qualify. If you are unsure of the CAP agency nearest you, please contact United Way 2-1-1 in Rhode Island or visit them online.
Another resource available to customers is Rhode Housing’s RentReliefRI program. This federally-funded program serves as a lifeline for struggling Rhode Island renters and provides up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance for tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Dan McKee also announced this week the creation of the Homeowner Assistance Fund Rhode Island (HAF-RI), which helps homeowners impacted by COVID-19 to catch up on mortgage and utility bills and other housing-related costs and is available statewide. Individuals looking for more information or answers to frequently asked questions about the program should visit: www.HAF-RI.com.
National Grid also has several bill help options and payment plans writes that it also has available for theircustomers in need of assistance. Customers may enroll in programs such as the Budget Billing Plan, which spreads monthly payments out more evenly throughout the year to offset periods of high energy usage. Additional payment options are also available, and we encourage our customers to learn more by visiting www.ngrid.com/billhelp.
National Grid also provides a long list of energy efficiency tips that can help save on your monthly bill at ngrid.com/ee-tips.
Here are a few examples:
- Revisit your thermostat settings to make sure they’re changing with the weather and your schedule.
- ENERGY STAR® certified LED light bulbs can help you save every day at home because they use 90 percent less energy and last 13 times longer than traditional bulbs.
- Lower your water heater setting to 120°F to save energy and prevent scalding.
- Smart power strips can help you control the amount of energy your electronics use. If you don’t have one, unplug the electronics you aren’t using.