Concerned about paying your heating bill? Assistance is available.

There are several programs that can help you pay for heat this winter. Here’s a look at some of those programs, and links to learn more.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – For some southern New Englanders , the cost of heating their homes in the winter is cause for concern.  But, there is help available.

Damaris Dominguez is the Manager of Customer Advocacy for National Grid’s New England region.  Dominguez says, “There’s funding there.  They just have to really get out there and apply for it.”

One program, called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is getting a big boost this year, with an extra $30.8 million dollars in federal funding for Rhode Island households through the American Rescue Plan.

Dominguez says, “Whatever you heat with, whether it be oil, gas, electricity, that is where the grant will go towards.”

That program can also help pay to weatherize your home.  Visit these links to learn more about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and to find out how to apply:

https://www.ricommunityaction.org/

https://dhs.ri.gov/

Another option is called RentReliefRI.

Dominguez says, “They have a good amount of money that they’ve allocated to help towards back rent relief as well as utilities.  And they actually will pay for back billed utility bills starting when COVID started.”

You must be a renter to qualify for RentReliefRI.  To learn more, visit this link: https://www.rihousing.com/rentreliefri/

You can also try the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, or if you’re on certain types of public assistance, you can apply for a discounted utility rate.  National Grid also offers a forgiveness program for customers with an overdue balance who meet certain qualifications.

Dominguez says, “For every month that you make that on time payment, a portion of your balance is forgiven.  So if you owe $1500, and let’s say your average bill is $100, for every month that you pay $100, you will get a $125 credit to go towards your $1500 balance.”

To learn more about National Grid’s programs, visit this link: www.ngrid.com/billhelp

And to learn more about energy efficiency and cost savings, visit this link: www.ngrid.com/ee-tips

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2022

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