If you’re struggling to make ends meet and have no idea how you're going to afford to pay your heating bill this winter, help is available. The Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to help low-income and elderly residents in New York State and they're encouraging those in need of help to apply for assistance.

How do you know if you qualify for assistance heating your home? According to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, you might be eligible if you receive SNAP benefits, Temporary Assistance or Supplemental Security Income; or if your monthly household income is at or below the HEAP income guidelines. Additionally, you might be eligible for help regardless of whether you own your own home, pay heat as part of your rent, or having money in the bank.

According to Broome County, there are some additional energy saving resources and they include:

Tioga Opportunities - Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) agency for Broome and Tioga counties. Free weatherization services for HEAP eligible homeowners. www.Tiogaopp.org Phone: 687.0944 Toll-free: 1.877.786.2419

New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA) - No cost energy efficiency services for income-qualified households. www.nyserda.org Phone: 1.800.263.0960

New York State Public Service Commission Consumer Website - Consumer protections, assistance programs, tips on utility service, how to shop for utility services, telephone lifeline service, energy tax credits. www.askpsc.com

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