Below is information on resources for paying electrical and fuel bills and finding help to weatherize your home this winter.
Central Maine Power Company
Special Payment Arrangements for Electric & Natural Gas During Winter Months
1-800-686-4044 or Maine Public Utilities Commission's Consumer Assistance Hotline 1-800-452-4699 or 207-287-1597 or 1-800-437-1220 (TTY Relay)
During the period November 15 through April 15, customers who cannot pay their utility bill because of reasons that may cause their households to be deprived of food, medicine, heat or some other necessity can declare eligibility for a Special Payment Arrangement. Customers whose income does not exceed 150 % of federal poverty guidelines or who are eligible to participate in the Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may qualify for a Special Payment Arrangement.
At this time we do not have a list of churches that provide assistance. It is best to contact individual churches in the community and ask if they are able to help.
Dept. of Health & Human Services
Biddeford 286-2400 or 1-800-322-1919 - Emergency Assistance
208 Graham ST. Biddeford ME 04005
Provides benefits to low income families with children in some situations when the family is threatened by destitution or homelessness due to an emergency situation. These situations include fire, other natural disasters, termination of utility service, evictions, or lack of adequate shelter. Only certain items can be purchased.
General Assistance (Welfare)
Heat, & Electric Assistance
City of Saco, 300 Main St. By Appointment. 282-8206
Verification of household members, monthly household income and expenses are required, as well as savings & checking account statements. If you are not capable of working, a doctor's note will be required. Please DO NOT wait until you are out of oil or running out of oil that day to apply for assistance. By doing this, you are creating unnecessary additional expenses such as: same day delivery fees, after hour's delivery fees, and bleeding the line fees. These additional funds could be used to help another family in need.
Maine State Housing Authority
353 Water Street, Augusta 1-800-452-4668 or 207-626-4600 TTY 1-800-452-4603
- Appliance Replacement Program
The Appliance Replacement Program is a PUC funded program designed to help low-income households reduce their energy costs through replacement of older refrigerators, other home appliances, and light bulbs that are inefficient and expensive to operate, and through consumer education.
- Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)
Maine Housing's Home Energy Loan Program offers loans at a low fixed rate of only 3.95% (4.194% APR) for home improvements that increase home energy efficiency. Loan amounts range from $2,800 to $20,000 with loan terms of up to 15 years. An energy audit is required. HELP loans may be used to finance: home energy audits, insulation, air sealing, and weather stripping; heating system repair or replacement, energy star related windows and appliances, storm doors and storm windows: ventilation and moisture controls; and roof repairs (if attic is insulated to a minimum R38 value).
M, T, Th, F. 1-3 PM
OOB, Saco, and Biddeford residents only.
Corner of Church & 6th Streets, Old Orchard Beach
Assistance with CMP disconnects, evictions, heating assistance, food and clothing.
York County Community Action Programs
6 Spruce St., Sanford To schedule an appointment at a local office near you (Biddeford),
1-800-965-5762 or 324-5762
- LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) - Heating
LIHEAP provides financial assistance for apartment or home heating to income eligible households. Applicants may apply even when heat is included in rent amount. Households with members over 60 or under 2 years old, less than 170% of poverty; all others less than 150% of poverty. Must provide proof of income. Payments are made directly to dealers of oil, kerosene, LP gas, coal, electricity or wood. Consumers may choose their own dealer. Benefits will not be sent out until October. Appointments for Applications are Prioritized:
- Over 60 or under 2: July 14 - Sept. 5
- Anyone with Heating Costs: Starting September 8
- Rent with Heat Included: December 1
Appointments will be accepted until April 30, 2009.
Home visits available for those who are unable to travel. NOTE: This is not an emergency program, it could take 6-8 weeks to receive a benefit.
- ECIP (Energy Crisis Intervention Program) - Emergency Heating
ECIP provides emergency assistance one time during the heating season for home heating fuel bills or heating system repairs. Must have an approved LIHEAP application and have less than 1/8 tank full at the time of ECIP request. Usually receive assistance within 48 hours.
NOTE: ECIP will begin in December.
- LIAP (Low Income Assistance Program) - Electric
Provides financial assistance for apartment and home electric bills. To be eligible must have an approved LIHEAP application plus cost/usage determined by CMP. If eligible, a lump sum will be credited to the account. Will cover balances. NOTE: Residents of subsidized housing are not eligible.
- CHIP (Central Heating Improvement Fund)
This particular program is out of the (PROP) Office in Portland. 842-2988
Provides assistance for furnaces that are not working and not repairable or have been condemned. Must have an approved LIHEAP application. $2500 lifetime limit. Funds are limited and not available until October 1st. There is a waiting list.
- ELP (Electric Lifeline Program) & Telephone Assistance Program
The local Cap agency may also have you apply for the Electric Lifeline Program (ELP) and the Telephone Assistance Program 761-1000.
- Home Warm Kits
These are free-of-charge to income eligible homeowners on a first come, first serve basis. The kits contain easy-to-install, energy-saving light bulbs, showerheads, faucet aerators, gaskets, and window caulking and shrink wrap that will reduce heating costs.
- Maine Home Repair Network
Provides grants or loans to low income homeowners who may not be able to afford necessary home repairs and home replacement. Income guidelines apply.
- Residential Lighting Program
Provides rebates for the purchase of high-efficiency Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Retail stores will feature $1 instant coupons on Energy Star qualified CFLs and $12 off Energy Star qualified indoor and outdoor CFL hard-wired fixtures.
- Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loans or USDA 504 Loan Program
Senior & Low Income Households
Stay warm through the winter.... And make your home safe and healthy
Eligible individuals and families can obtain a low interest loan (only 1%) to make the improvements. Borrow up to $20,000 (up to 20 years). Seniors 62 and older who cannot afford a loan, may be eligible for a free grant up to $7,500. Loans can be used for: A furnace or water heater, wood pellet stove, broken or drafty windows and doors, rood, well, septic system, electrical system, insulation, accessibility features and equipment, and other essential home improvements.
- Warm Sites
Libraries, shopping malls, and other public spaces are good places to get warm. Save energy by turning down the thermostat during the day and going to a warm site.
- Weatherization Program
This particular program is out of the (PROP) Office in Portland 842-2988 X5902 Provides a free home energy audit, attic and wall insulation, and other energy-saving measures that reduce home heating costs. Priority is given to households with elderly or disabled members and to families with children under 24 months. Must have an approved LIHEAP application.
York County Council of Realtors
Fuel Fund Asst. Program for Low-Income Individuals/Families
Y.C.C.O.R. will start taking applications in January.
This program would assist individuals or families who are not eligible for traditional fuel assistance, or who may have fallen on sudden hard times. Need to have a referral from a General Assistance Office, Church or Reputable Organization. Individuals MAY NOT contact Y.C.C.O.R. directly. Must be able to accept a 100 gallon delivery. Delivery anticipated in 1-5 Business Days of Receipt.
Important Note: Consumer Home Heating Rights
The Attorney General has issued rules that regulate the sale of home heating oil during the winter months, from October 15 through April 30. One of the basic consumer rights detailed in these Rules is than an oil dealer cannot refuse to deliver to a consumer even if the consumer owes the dealer money, providing these three conditions are met:
- The consumer has cash or government guaranteed payment to pay for the oil being requested;
- The dealer regularly serves the consumer's area; and
- The consumer requests at least 20 gallons.