There are various emergency energy assistance programs that can benefit families who are in a financial crisis and are facing an emergency situation. The programs have different criteria; for some programs, applicants must exceed the income guidelines for Fuel Assistance; for other programs, funds can be used to help people at all income levels who are in a crisis situation. Not all programs are funded at the same time. A household with an energy crisis should contact SNHS to see if they are eligible for programs available at the time.
FEMA Energy Assistance
Individual and family households whose energy needs cannot be met under the State’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program may apply for FEMA Energy Assistance. In such instances, utility payments may be provided but are restricted to one month’s cost, one time, during the program period.
Neighbor Helping Neighbor
This non-profit charitable fund is generously supported by corporate matching funds and contributions from customers and employees of Unitil, Liberty Utilities and Eversource. Neighbor Helping Neighbor provides funds for energy assistance to needy individuals who are experiencing hardships, have disconnects pending and are ineligible for help from LIHEAP. In 2013, the program assisted 833 households in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties.
Family Emergency Loan Program
This program, generously funded by St. Mary’s Bank and Bellwether Credit Union, provides participants with emergency assistance loans of up to $1000 for a period of ten months at a low interest rate. Clients pay back the bank in monthly installments. A total of 7 households received assistance in 2013.
Senior Energy Assistance Service
The Senior Energy Assistance Service (SEAS) provides energy assistance funds in an amount up to $270 per elderly household for individuals sixty years of age or older, who are ineligible under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The program secures and maintains maximum independence and dignity in a home environment for elderly individuals capable of self-care with appropriate supportive services. In the last program year, 31 elderly households were assisted.
Seniors Count Flex Funding
The Mary Gale Foundation provides funding to the Seniors Count initiative to assist low-income elderly women in Manchester. As a partner in Seniors Count, SNHS accesses these funds to provide energy, rental and other miscellaneous assistance to low-income elderly women who do not qualify for other programs or require additional services. In the last calendar year, 75 elderly women were assisted with these funds for a total of $19,423.
Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund
SNHS received a grant from the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund to help Hillsborough County residents who were in a crisis but who were over income limits for federally funded LIHEAP. A total of 11 households in crisis received assistance through this fund in 2013.
Private Donations for Energy Assistance
These funds, received from individuals, banks, businesses, churches and corporations, help assist those who had no other place to turn for help in their hardship situation. During 2013, these limited funds were invaluable to 173 households without other resources to help them through their crisis.
Energy Assistance Programs are more critical than ever during these times of economic uncertainty