In response to increased need and limited program funding, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has made some changes to the Electric Assistance Program (EAP). These changes will allow the EAP to provide bill assistance to more customers. The amount of assistance that customers receive and the number of customers eligible to receive assistance will be changing.
For customers currently receiving an EAP discount on their electric bill, the kilowatt hours (kWh) that the discount is applied to will now be limited. Beginning July 1, 2011, the discount will apply only to the first 700 kWh of usage. After this date, monthly usage above 700 kWh will not be eligible for the EAP discount and will be billed at the non-discounted rate. Programs and information that may help you use less electricity are available through your electric utility. NOTE: if a customer uses electrically powered equipment to treat a medical condition, they should call their electric utility and tell them about their situation.
The eligibility level for the EAP has also been changed. The current eligibility level is 185% of the federal poverty guideline. The new eligibility level is 175%. The change in the eligibility level means that the tier one (5%) discount will be eliminated.
Customers now receiving an EAP discount at the tier one (5%) discount level will be removed from the program at the end of their certification period unless a change in their income would make them eligible for EAP. Customers will receive a letter 45 days in advance asking you to come in to re-certify your EAP eligibility. Customers on the waiting list who qualify for the tier one (5%) discount level were removed from the waiting list as of March 4, 2011. Customers on the waiting list whose circumstances have changed and who may be eligible for EAP at the lower eligibility level should re-apply. Please see below for the current income guidelines:
|The 2011 Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States|
and the District of Columbia
175% Poverty guideline
Persons in family
|1||$ 19,058||$ 1,566|
|2||$ 25,743||$ 2,116|
|3||$ 32,428||$ 2,665|
|4||$ 39,113||$ 3,215|
|5||$ 45,798||$ 3,764|
|6||$ 52,483||$ 4,314|
|7||$ 59,168||$ 4,863|
|8||$ 65,853||$ 5,413|
|For families with more than 8 persons, add $6,685 for each additional person.|
With these changes, the EAP will be able to meet the growing demand and significantly reduce the number of customers on the waiting list.