The early cold weather has caused Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG) to be extra busy with heat assistance, said a HEAT Intake Worker, Karren Erickson.
“Right now we are scheduled out until January,” Erickson said. “We have four of us in the office that can take the applications and they have us scheduled pretty tight.”
HEAT stands for Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) program. The program provides winter utility assistance for low-income households, targeting those who are vulnerable. BRAG tries to help the lowest-income households with the highest heating costs, the disabled, elderly, and families with preschool-age children.
The service is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
“The program helps a lot of people,” she said.” You feel really good about the job you are doing because a lot of them are unable to make their payments and they are hardworking, there are a lot of students, a lot of single moms, a lot of people on fixed income and there some that can’t afford to pay their bills or don’t.”
She said the information is all online, people can mail in an application or they can fill it out online. They must fax all of the information that they are giving in order to make it valid.
“When they call for an appointment we send them a letter that verifies the date and time of the appointment,” Erickson said. “We give them a list of everything they need to have with them when they come in.
“I can do it in 20 minutes, if they have everything they are supposed to have.”
If someone is disabled or handicapped and can’t come into the office they do have an outreach program where they send someone into the home.
Qualified home owners from Cache, Box Elder and Rich Counties can apply from November to April. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come first-served basis beginning November 1st.
The assistance is a one-time payment, so it is best to come in when the heating bill is generally highest, like in December or January, but people can come in as late as April and apply, she said.
Lucas Martin, BRAG Human Services Specialist, said HEAT provides assistance to low income households to help with their utility bills.
“We meet with eligible households and determine if they qualify. Eligible families generally can receive $200 to $500, depending on their eligibility,” he said. “The money is paid to their gas, electric or other power company. Each household can apply once a year.”
“The HEAT program has income guidelines that are based on the size of the household,” Martin said. “For example, a single individual has to make less than $1,518 a month to qualify. A household of four can make up to $3,138 a month.”
He said they can deduct some expenses, like medical bills and prescriptions.
Households in Box Elder County should call (435) 723-1116 to schedule an appointment. For Cache and Rich counties they should call (435) 713-1444.
“Even if you don’t need the help, you may know someone who does,” Martin said.
“Sometimes people think that we run out of money. In most cases, we have funds available for the entire HEAT season. If you have questions about the availability of funding please contact us directly.”
170 N Main
Logan, Utah 84321
Phone (435) 752-7242
Toll Free 1-877-772-7242
2535 South Highway 89
Perry, Utah 84302
Phone (435) 723-1111