For millions of Americans just the task of staying warm in the winter and having power all year long can seem overwhelming. If you are one of many low income Americans then you already know how hard it can be to pay increasing higher power bills. If not for low income assistance many families would be pushed out of their homes, or go without adequate heat in the winter. More and more agencies are popping up across the country to help families cope with these problems.
There are a number of different ways to approach the problem of rising energy costs. For some of those with very low income a low income assistance program such as LIHEAP can help to bridge the gap in between what they are able to pay and what their actually energy costs are. Programs such as these pay a percentage of power bills and heating bills every year, and become the safety net between families and cut off notices they may receive if they are unable to keep up with their bills.
Beyond helping people to pay their heating bills other programs offer low income assistance by helping families lower their electric bills and by acting as an advocate with local, state and federal authorities in assisting low income families in making their energy bills more manageable. Agencies such as HELP in Maryland work with families to make their homes more energy efficient with home energy audits and help with weatherization. Education such as this can help to lower energy bills significantly allowing families to better afford to pay their own bills.
Energy audits are detailed reports on how a home owner can make changes that will result in a direct payback for the changes made. Energy audits are available thru low income assistance programs and other weatherization programs. Not only will these energy audits provide you with a detailed analysis of your energy usage and how you can save energy costs, but they will provide you with services such as repairing equipment, insulating attics and crawlspaces, sealing air leaks, repair and replacing windows or doors and providing more energy efficient lighting if you qualify.
Many local agencies will also provide low income assistance to help weatherize your home by either paying for weatherizing or by providing low cost loans to help you weatherize your home.
This can include things such as insulation, window replacement, new roofs for mobile homes, and weather stripping for around doors and crawl spaces. They will also help with reduced cost or free low cost energy improvements such as wrapping pipes for hot water tanks and heating ducts, low flow shower heads, weather stripping, door sweeps and energy efficient light bulbs.
There are many agencies available to help you with reducing your energy costs, and getting control of your energy bills as well as those agencies that can help you pay your bills if you simply cannot afford them. For those in the Maryland area Save Money on Energy offers information on low income assistance as well as help with energy audits, and weatherization.