Gov. Cuomo announces additional funding available for those faced with a heating emergency

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced additional funding available to help eligible New Yorkers heat their homes following severe low temperatures this winter. Households in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off are currently able to apply for a second emergency benefit through the federal Home Energy Assistance Program.

“The availability of this funding will help keep our most vulnerable New Yorkers warm and safe this winter,” Gov. Cuomo said. “New York is suffering a one-two-punch this season with cold temperatures and rising energy prices, and I am encouraging all eligible New Yorkers to apply for assistance.”

There has already been a 40 percent increase in requests for emergency heating assistance compared to last year in many parts of the state that have experienced persistently cold temperatures this winter. Normally, eligible households are able to receive one HEAP benefit and one emergency HEAP benefit each winter if faced with an energy crisis. This year, households that have already received a regular and emergency benefit are able to apply for additional funding. Households faced with the possibility of having a utility shut off, or running out of heating fuel without the means to replenish it, are eligible.

The amount a household receives from HEAP depends on income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can earn up to $53,482 per year and still qualify for assistance. A needy household that heats with oil and qualifies for a regular HEAP benefit and two emergency benefits could receive more than $2,000 in total assistance this winter.

HEAP, overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, is 100 percent federally funded. Applications for HEAP are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone. A list of offices by county can be found here.

In addition to funding available for heating assistance, $14.4 million in federal HEAP funding has been provided to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to grant weatherization services to thousands of additional households, through EmPower New York. These services can reduce the amount of energy required to heat a home, reducing energy consumption, while minimizing the impact of higher fuel costs throughout the winter. More information, including how to apply, can be found at here.

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “There are many hard-working families in New York who, without this additional assistance, would find themselves with nowhere to turn in an emergency situation. This is a crucial helping hand for potentially thousands of New Yorkers, many of whom are seriously at risk this winter.”

Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “We encourage those most vulnerable to the rising costs of heating a home this winter to take advantage of the assistance the state has available to them to ensure a warm and comfortable home. Making homes more energy efficient is a priority of Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy agenda as we seek to help residents and businesses across the state reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint.”