Syracuse, NY - Governor Hochul and New York State continue to work helping NY residents keep the heat on during the colder months.
The New York Public Service Commission forecasts that electric and natural gas bills for the 2022-2023 winter season will be higher than last year, with an average projected increase of 29% for natural gas bills statewide.
This recent news has caused anxiety among many Syracuse residents, who are worried about how they will afford to keep their homes warm.
To help alleviate this anxiety, Governor Hochul announced $373 million for home heating aid to assist New Yorkers during cold weather months earlier this month.
Homeowners and renters in Syracuse who qualify can receive assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which can give them up to $976 depending on their income, household size, and the method they use to heat their homes.
A family of four with a maximum gross monthly income of $5,485 or an annual gross income of $65,829 can qualify for this benefit.
Residents in Syracuse can apply for a Regular HEAP Benefit online, in person, or writing. Applications for assistance are accepted at local social services departments in person or by telephone, with funding provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
As of Jan. 3, HEAP provides a one-time emergency benefit to eligible households facing a heating emergency. Eligibility for this benefit includes those who have had their electricity shut off or scheduled to be shut off, are out of fuel, or have a low supply of wood, wood pellets, corn, or other deliverable heat sources.
In light of the increased heating costs forecasted for this winter, it is vital for Syracuse residents to be aware of the assistance programs available to them and to apply early to ensure they receive the help they need.
The Governor and New York State are committed to helping residents stay warm and comfortable during the cold winter.
Aside from regular heating assistance, the HEAP Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement program also offer aid to eligible homeowners who have unsafe or non-functioning primary heating equipment and need to repair or replace their furnace or boiler.
The program covers actual repair or replacement costs, with a maximum of $4,000 for repair and $8,000 for replacement.
Governor Hochul and New York State have implemented programs like the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to help residents. Still, there remains to be a concern for those who need to meet the qualifications for these aid programs.
With energy costs projected to rise significantly for the 2022-2023 winter season, many low-income residents may need help to afford the cost of heating their homes.
But, the concern is how residents who do not meet the qualifications for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will acquire the necessary aid to keep their homes warm during winter.
Policymakers must explore additional ways to assist those in need, as no one should choose between heating their home and paying for other essential expenses.
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