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We believe everyone should have a safe, warm place to call home and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps make that possible for those in our community in need.

Thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, New Hampshire residents who are elderly, disabled and low-income are provided financial assistance needed to pay for vital heating and utility expenses through the colder months. LIHEAP also offers case management to develop a plan to achieve increased financial self-sufficiency to avoid energy-related emergencies such as running out of heating fuel.

The Fuel Assistance Program provides grant benefits from $158 to $1575 for heating purposes that do not have to be repaid to eligible homeowners and renters for the winter season as follows:

  • If your heat is electric or natural gas, bills from November 1st can be paid until your benefit amount is used up or the program year ends.
  • If your heat is from deliverable fuels, oil, kerosene, propane, wood or coal, deliveries made from October 1st – April 30th can be paid until your benefit amount is used up or the program year ends.
  • If your heat is included in your rent and is NOT subsidized, assistance will be provided in the form of heating vouchers issued in amounts of up to $315 each month until your benefit amount is used up or the program year ends.
    *If your heat is included in your rent and IS subsidized, you will not qualify for Fuel Assistance but you may qualify for Electric Assistance.

For the 2021-2022 Fuel Assistance Program, pre-applications will be made available to priority families, elderly, disabled and families with young children under 6 after July 1st. All others can pre-apply after September 1st.

 

Additional Assistance through Weatherization

All Fuel Assistance applicants will be asked if you want to participate in our Weatherization Program. This is an opportunity to have your home or apartment inspected by our trained Energy Auditors to determine if your home can be made more efficient to lower your energy bills.

If your living space is drafty, in need of more insulation or has unsafe heating appliances, we will have the work done to make your home or apartment warmer, more comfortable and safer at no cost to you. If you are a renter, we will need permission from the landlord.

Weatherization is an excellent opportunity to have some important improvements done to your house or apartment at no charge. Learn more about our Weatherization Program.

Eligibility

Households must be in New Hampshire, can be rented or owned and must meet the following income guidelines.

How to Apply

The 2021-2022 program will open after July 1st.

Fuel & Electric Assistance Application 2021-2022

You must re-apply each year even if you were a recipient in previous years.

If you received fuel assistance the previous year, you will receive a mail-in application with instructions. If you did not receive a packet, contact your local office.

If you are new to receiving fuel assistance, contact the office closest to you to request a phone interview.

Resources

Fuel Assistance FAQs

Yes, we highly recommend if you are close to the guidelines that you still apply and let us make the determination regarding your eligibility for these reasons:

  • Sometimes a person will be slightly over the guideline by their calculations but they are eligible by ours. That might be because there are some income types that are not counted or are only partially counted. 
  • If you are over income for the initial 30-day period, we are allowed to look back either at a “Year to Date” period or a full “365 days” to average out the income received over the past year. We cannot look beyond the 365 days.
  • There are often instances when the Office of Strategic Initiatives adjusts the income guidelines during the year. If you are over income and then become eligible due to these changes, you will not need to reapply. Your application will be made eligible automatically and you will receive a letter in the mail telling you of your eligibility.
  • We may have other funding available specifically targeted to households in an emergency that do not qualify for Fuel Assistance such as the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund with our partners at Eversource. You would not necessarily know about these, nor would you be eligible unless you apply for Fuel Assistance. 

If your rent is subsidized but you pay your own heat, you can qualify for a Fuel Assistance benefit that will be payable to your fuel vendor. 

If your rent is subsidized but the heat is included in the rent, you will be denied for Fuel Assistance. In this circumstance, you could be eligible for the Electric Assistance Program if you are responsible for your own electric costs and the bill is in your name or the name of another adult living in your household. 

You will be asked questions that will help the appointment clerk determine what you will need for your interview and may be given a separate date and time for your full interview. If a separate interview is scheduled, you will receive a letter in the mail confirming the date and time. The letter will also have a list of items that you need to have on hand for your phone interview. This documentation is needed to determine whether or not you are eligible.

You will need a variety of information at different points in the application process including your first phone interview with an intake specialist. The types of information and documentation we recommend having ready if needed are as follows:

  • Name, date of birth and social security number for each person in the household
  • Statistical information only for each person in the household
    • Health insurance status (covered or not)
    • Student status and grade where applicable
    • Ethnicity
    • Disability pay (yes or no)
    • Food stamp recipient (yes or no)
    • Self-employment status (yes or no)
  • Income documentation for all earned income by all people in the household for 30 days prior to your appointment date
    • Social Security, SSI & Survivor Benefits
    • Pensions
    • State Welfare Assistance
    • Workers Compensation
    • Unemployment Benefits
    • Child Support (received or paid out)
    • Bank Interest, Dividends & Annuities 
  • *If you are self-employed, receive commissions, have rental property or received a disbursement from an annuity or a retirement plan, you will need a full year of income with your most recent tax return to determine eligibility
  • Social Security cards
  • Tax returns
  • Type of heating fuel used
  • Who is responsible for paying the heating bill (applicant or landlord)
  • Number of rooms not counting halls or bathrooms
  • Type of housing (single family, duplex or multi-residential)
  • Most recent electric and fuel (natural gas, oil, propane, kerosene or wood) bills
  • Residential status – owned or rented
  • Homeowners must bring a copy of their mortgage statement
  • Renters with heat included must have a Landlord Verification Form completed and signed by both the applicant and the landlord
    • Click HERE to download the Landlord Verification Form.

An intake person will process your application to completion within 30 days. The application must then be certified (reviewed) by a senior staff person to determine that the application was completed correctly. If so, the certifier will then enroll the applicant.

You will receive a letter from us in the mail either authorizing your benefit with an amount and to whom it is assigned OR a denial with a reason for the denial. If approved, your benefit is usually assigned to your heating fuel vendor if you pay your own heat or to your landlord if the heat is included in the rent. Your heating fuel vendor will receive a letter of credit telling them that you qualified assistance and the benefit amount.

If you are over income, did not provide all the documentation required, already received a benefit for the current program year, on subsidized rent where your heat is included in your rent or for other miscellaneous reasons, you may have your application denied. An explanation for your denial and a Fair Hearing notice will be provided to advise you of your rights in case you disagree with the findings.

Fuel Assistance benefits are paid directly to the vendor on your behalf when the service is received up to the benefit amount or until the season ends. Once notified of your eligibility, fuel vendors will deliver fuel to your household and then will bill Southern New Hampshire Services for the amount you received.

If your heat is included in your rent, you will receive a heating voucher each month you receive a benefit which must be signed by you and your landlord before returning it to our office. Once signed and received, we will send a check to your landlord for the benefit amount.

If you don’t use the full benefit amount then the remaining amount will be returned to the general program.

Yes, if you apply for Fuel Assistance we will also have you apply for Electric Assistance. Depending on the outcome of your application and your situation, we may take an application for the Neighbor Helping Neighbor program or other emergency programs that might be available at the time.

If our programs are not able to assist you, we would refer you to other places that might be a better fit for you. These might be Town or State welfare, churches or other agencies that may be able to meet your need.

If applicable, we would also refer to our other programs such as the Senior Food Program (CSFP), Head Start & Early Head Start, and Women, Infants & Children (WIC).