Here is a list of some of the programs in Maine that may be able to help with your utility and fuel costs.
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In addition to the programs listed below, there may be other local resources available from organizations such as The Salvation Army, Red Cross, local churches or community organizations. For more information about local energy initiatives in Maine, contact 211Maine. They can be contacted by phone by dialing 211 or on the web at www.211maine.org
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP or Fuel Assistance)
LIHEAP helps both homeowners and renters with their heating costs. Household income must be lower than 150% of the poverty level. If anyone in the household is over age 60, below age 2, or has a health condition that puts them at risk of hypothermia then the income limit can be higher - 170% of poverty level. (This equals about $2,144 per month for a family of 2.)
If heat is included in your rent, you can still get help. If you apply and get even a little bit of help, then your monthly Food Supplements benefit may go up. If you get LIHEAP then you may also get lower electric rates.
To Apply: You can apply for LIHEAP through your local Community Action Program. You need to bring proof of income, social security numbers, and your address. You can use a utility bill to prove your address.
This program provides limited crisis emergency assistance that can include some help with heat, electricity, food and other emergency circumstances for the residents of Washington and Hancock counties.
Loans are for up to 20 years at 1% interest. Grants (free) may be for people who are 62 years of age or disabled.
Loan/grant combinations may be arranged for applicants who can repay part of the cost. The program defines ‘very low-income’ as below 50 percent of the area median income. See the following for the program’s income guidelines.
To Apply: Call Rural Development. Listed in the Phone Book under U.S. Government, Agriculture Department. Or call 1-800-352-8963 Ext. 161 and they will connect you to the correct office.