By: Brian Schutt
With record lows across the city during January, and the cold weather expected to continue, we have heard from many customers about skyrocketing utility bills. For most of our customers, this is merely an inconvenience, but unfortunately for some, this can be a significant challenge. With real unemployment estimated as high as 37%, many people on fixed incomes, and wage growth stagnant, adding hundreds of dollars to your monthly bills can force major tradeoffs. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, there are places available in the city that can help.
Fox 59 is currently having a contest with Fox 59 Logo that will give away $100 every hour to help pay heating bills. Tune in, fill out a brief form, and you could get some much-needed support.
Community Action of Greater Indianapolis has an energy assistance program. Appointments must be scheduled via mail at:
Energy Assistance Mailout Program: Community Action of Greater Indianapolis, Production Room 3266 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46208
United Way Winter Assistance Fund. The Winter Assistance Fund is for Marion County residents whose income exceeds guidelines for government energy assistance, yet still have difficulty keeping up with high winter heating bills. Last year, the fund helped 2,253 individuals stay warm. Residents may dial 2-1-1 to find the nearest neighborhood community center or township trustee office accepting Winter Assistance Fund applications.
Duke Energy Helping Hand Program
Low-income customers who are at least 60 years old can receive assistance on their energy bills.
Contact Information: Call 1-800-521-2232.
Vectren Share the Warmth Program
Funds are available for income-eligible customers throughout the Vectren North territory. Households must apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency.
Contact Information: Call 1-800-227-1376.
Indianapolis-based Christ Church Cathedral provides qualified individuals with the financial assistance of up to $50 that may be used towards paying rent or utility bills (not both). The church only serves the first 10 people on Tuesday mornings. (317) 636-4577.
John H. Boner Center
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) provides financial assistance to low-income households to maintain utility services during the winter heating months. The John H. Boner Community Center has a goal of serving 10,000 households during the 2013-2014 program year.
income-eligible families are provided a one-time benefit to their heating and electric companies to offset the high cost of utility bills during the winter months. The amount of the energy assistance benefit awarded is based on household size and income, type of dwelling (home, apartment, mobile home, etc.), housing status (subsidized or non-subsidized housing), at-risk factors (elderly, disabled, or children’s age 0-5) and fuel source (gas, electric, bulk fuel, or heating included in rent).
On October 1, 2013, the John H. Boner Community Center will begin scheduling intake appointments for clients to apply for Energy Assistance. Appointments will begin November 4, 2013, and continue through May 16, 2014, OR WHENEVER FUNDING RUNS OUT, whichever comes first.
Call (317) 458-9255 to schedule an intake appointment.