Do You Qualify for Pennsylvania Energy Savings Programs?
Keeping up with energy costs can be difficult for many families in Pennsylvania. Even if you don’t use any more energy than you have in the past, rising prices can put a strain on your monthly budget.
One thing you can do if you live in Pennsylvania is take advantage of energy savings programs. These programs are aimed at helping people reduce energy consumption and ease the burden of utility bills. They can be used in addition to federal programs such as the ENERGY STAR rebate program and tax credits for consumer renewable energy systems.
Do you qualify for money-saving rebates, reductions or utility payment assistance in Pennsylvania? Let’s find out!
Pennsylvania Weatherization Assistance Program
Weatherizing a home is an easy way to improve energy efficiency and comfort while reducing costs. The Pennsylvania Weatherization Assistance Program will help cover expenses related to weatherizing a home if the resident is considered low income (200% below the federal poverty level).
Unlike similar programs in other states, the Pennsylvania Weatherization Assistance Program involves a home energy audit. The audit will outline the condition of the home and determine what weatherization steps need to happen. The projects go well beyond adding attic insulation and caulking. It can include bigger projects like completely replacing a home’s heating system or adding ventilation in the basement. You’ll need to contact your county’s weatherization agency to apply.
GOOD TO KNOW: Top 5 Winter Weatherization Tips
Energy Assistance Programs From Utility Companies
There are numerous energy assistance programs that exist to help Pennsylvania residents reduce energy bills. These programs are offered by local utilities to help people who are low income or experiencing financial hardship. There are five types of assistance available:
Budget Billing – If you have a variable rate energy plan but want more predictable monthly utility bills, then you can request something known as budget billing. The utility company will calculate your energy usage over the last 12 months to come up with an average that will become the fixed monthly bill.
Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) – CAP programs are reserved for low-income customers that can agree to pay a reduced amount each month.
Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Program (CARES) – This program can be used by customers that are experiencing unexpected financial needs due to special circumstances. Those circumstances can include medical problems, job loss and divorce.
Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) – The goal with LIURPs is to help customers save money by reducing energy use. In addition to free weatherization, the utility company may install free energy saving devices and appliances.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – LIHEAP is a federal program, but it’s managed at the state level by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. People who qualify for the program will get financial assistance for paying utility bills.
Hardship Funding – Hardship funding is essentially grant money customers can use to pay utility bills. It’s available to people who may not qualify for other types of energy savings programs.
The energy assistance programs above are required by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which means they should be provided by every utility company. However, customers must apply and qualify to take advantage of the programs. The income requirement for CAP eligibility is 150% below the federal poverty level based on household size.
Rebate Programs and Incentives From Local Utilities
Don’t forget that local utilities may also offer their own special rebates and incentives for customers in their service area. Usually these aren’t dependent on income. Instead customers get rebates for making energy efficiency improvements or incentives for reducing energy use.
Assistance From Neighborhood Energy Centers
The Energy Coordinating Agency manages a system of Neighborhood Energy Centers in the Philadelphia area where locals can find assistance paying energy bills. Energy Counselors work with residents to become qualified for energy saving programs. The organization also hosts energy conservation workshops to help residents learn how to consume less energy.
Trying to save by switching to another energy supplier? Check out the Major Energy Pennsylvania plans to see how our service compares!