12/31/14: Poloncarz Announces Availability of Emergency Energy Assistance Funds

Modified: February 23, 2015 3:31pm

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Enrollment for HEAP Emergency Assistance begins January 2; Apply through EC HEAP Office

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced that the Erie County Department of Social Services’ (“ECDSS”) 2014-2015 Home Energy Assistance Program (“HEAP”) emergency benefit component will begin on January 2, 2015.  Emergency benefits are available to assist eligible households in resolving heating, heat-related electric and energy-related temporary housing emergencies.

Emergencies that qualify for benefits include:

  • The applicant’s natural gas or electric service for heat or heat-related electric service is terminated    or scheduled for termination; or
  • The applicant has less than ¼ tank of oil, kerosene or propane; or
  • The applicant has less than a ten-day supply of any other deliverable fuel source; or
  • The applicant is in need of a propane tank deposit to obtain a new propane tank and set up due to their supplier’s termination of their account.

“HEAP is a federally-funded program to help eligible households in meeting their home energy needs,” said Poloncarz. “The emergency benefit component of this program is very important because it prevents the heat from being shut off on the homes of many low-income families and senior citizens on a fixed income.  I encourage residents who are at risk of having their heat turned off to apply as soon as possible.”

To be eligible for emergency HEAP assistance, the applicant must be the customer of record, have gross household monthly income at or below the maximum income guidelines, not have available liquid resources greater than $2,000 (or $3,000 if the household contains an individual age 60 or older), and meet all other non-financial requirements.

Emergency benefit amounts (listed by primary home heating source) are as follows:

  • Heating emergency benefits: Heat-related electric = $140
  • Oil, kerosene, and propane = $575
  • Wood, wood pellets, corn, coal or other = $500
  • Natural gas heat only = $350
  • Natural gas heat with domestic electric = $490
  • Electric heat = $490
  • Propane tank deposit = up to $500 per program year

If service is currently off, a member of the household or authorized representative must apply in person at the Erie County HEAP office, located at 478 Main Street, Buffalo.

Applicants, including TA and SNAP recipients approved for a 2014-15 regular benefit who meet the customer of record requirements, can apply for emergency HEAP benefits by phone by calling (716) 858-7644.

Applications for emergency HEAP benefits will be accepted through March 16, 2015.


For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit   http://www2.erie.gov/socialservices