Governmental And Non-Profit Agencies Offer Help With Natural Gas Bills
November 7, 2002
Energy assistance programs help low-income families and senior citizens
ATLANTA, Ga. - As winter bears down on Georgia, non-profit organizations and state agencies are gearing up to provide assistance to qualified individuals looking for help with their natural gas bills. Natural gas prices are expected to be higher this year than last and temperatures cooler, so families will be looking for aid.
"With the economic challenges now facing many families, we want people to know that there is help available if they need it," said Isaac Blythers, president of Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC). "Many times people don't know where to turn for help, but assistance is available from a variety of sources, thanks to the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the United Way and the Salvation Army."
The following programs are available for the elderly and for families with low incomes. AGLC suggests that natural gas customers who think they may be eligible for assistance contact the following resources:
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP):
Georgia has received a $14.7 million federal grant to help low income families pay their natural gas bills. The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) will administer the funds statewide on a first-come, first-served basis through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
To quality for LIHEAP assistance, families must meet income restrictions ranging from $12,885 for a one-person household to $44,995 for a family of eight or more. Georgia DHR offers LIHEAP on a one-time basis, with payments ranging from $158 to $200. The average one-time benefit payment is approximately $179.
Contact the Georgia Department of Human Resources at 404-657-3426 in metro Atlanta and 1-800-257-4273 outside Atlanta or visit www.state.ga.us/departments/dhr/energy.html.
Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT Inc.):
Established in 1983 by AGLC, HEAT Inc. is funded by corporate and private donations. HEAT provides energy assistance to individuals who qualify for state assistance.
For more information, call HEAT at 678-406-0212.
This privately funded program of The Salvation Army provides year-round emergency assistance to Georgians who need help with basic necessities - housing, food, medical care and utility services. The program assists the elderly as well as individuals who are disabled, unemployed, sick or who are experiencing financial hardship.
For more information, contact Project SHARE at 404-873-3101 in metro Atlanta and 1-800-257-4273 outside Atlanta or www.salvationarmy-georgia.org.
United Way's Find Help 2-1-1
Families and individuals looking for assistance with their heating costs can dial 2-1-1 or their local United Way office for referral to an assistance program. Here is a listing of some United Way agencies:
Regulated Provider Program:
- Athens: United Way of Northeast Georgia, 2-1-1 or 706-353-1313
- Atlanta: United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, 2-1-1 or 404-614-1000
- Augusta: United Way of the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area): 2-1-1 or 706-724-6269
- Brunswick: United Way of Brunswick and Glynn County, 912-265-1850
- Macon: United Way of Central Georgia, 2-1-1 or 706-724-5544
- Rome: United Way of Rome and Floyd County Community Info Line, 706-232-4636
- Savannah: United Way of the Coastal Empire, 2-1-1 or 912-615-7700
- Valdosta: United Way of Lowndes County, 229-245-1222
Under the Natural Gas Consumers' Relief Act passed by the General Assembly, SCANA Energy has been designated the "regulated provider" offering the lowest natural gas rates to qualified low income consumers and to people with poor credit histories.
For more information and qualification requirements, contact SCANA Energy at 1-877-467-2262 or visit www.goscana.com. If You Would Like to Contribute to Energy Assistance Funds:
Two of the programs mentioned above, HEAT and Project SHARE, are funded in part by private donations. With the Energy Information Administration predicting higher natural gas prices this winter, these funds will keep many Georgia families warm this winter.
"Georgians have always been very generous when it comes to helping their fellow man during times of hardship," said Harriette Watkins, vice president of community affairs for AGLR, parent company of AGLC. "When the weather is cold, it gives us a warm feeling to be able to help others."
To make a financial contribution to an energy assistance program, contact:
- Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT, Inc.): 678-406-0212 or send donations to: HEAT, Inc., First Union Bank, P.O. Box 930112, Atlanta, GA 31193
- Project SHARE: 404-873-3101 in metro Atlanta and 1-800-257-4273 outside Atlanta or www.salvationarmy-georgia.org. Contributions can be mailed to Project SHARE, 675 Seminole Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.
- United Way Energy Assistance Program: Contributions can be mailed to United Way Energy Assistance Program, 100 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30303.