LOGAN – If you struggle to pay your utility bills during the winter months, there may be help for you.
The HEAT Assistance Program is a federally-funded assistance program designed to help low-income, elderly and disabled households with home energy costs. The HEAT program is administered locally through the Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG).
“We have many clients on fixed incomes,” said Susan Wright, a HEAT intake worker.
“A big misconception with people is they feel like there are laws that say you can’t have your utilities turned off in the winter months. That’s totally untrue in the state of Utah,” she said. “If you fall behind on your bills and you are unable to make any kind of arrangement with the utility companies, they will shut you off even in the coldest weather, even with young children in the home.”
The HEAT program is currently open and runs through April 30 or until federal funds are exhausted.
Eligibility and benefit amounts are determined by the number of U.S. or permanent residents in the household. Household size, income and utility costs are also taken into consideration. The household must be under 150% of Federal Poverty Level. HEAT benefits are a one-time payment and will not cover your entire winter heating costs.
The HEAT program in Cache, Rich and Box Elder Counties assisted about 2500 households last year, according to Wright.
For more information on the program, you can apply online at brag.utah.gov or call 435-713-1444 to schedule an appointment.