Rising natural gas costs can affect your heating bill – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Staying indoors sounds like the best option as temperatures begin to drop across western Pennsylvania this weekend.

However, turning up the heat to stay warm may not be easy for some people. That’s where programs like the Dollar Energy Fund, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as LIHEAP, and others can help.

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“Heat is essential in your part of the state and statewide,” says Cathy Buhrig.

Buhrig is director of the Policy Department with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. LIHEAP helps low-income families pay their heating bills in the form of cash benefits.

She said the program received additional funds this year through the Rescue America Plan.

“The state received a total of nearly $500 million this year,” Buhrig said.

Buhrig said the department has seen more applicants than before, especially as colder weather approaches. In addition to LIHEAP, families can get heating help through the Dollar Energy Fund.

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“We offer one-time grants of up to $500, depending on utility, but it’s once per utility per year,” said Jody Robertson, director of communications for the Dollar Energy Fund. Jody Robertson, director of communications for the Dollar Energy Fund said.

Eligible individuals must meet specific guidelines for annual household income. Robertson encourages families to get in touch as soon as they start having trouble paying their heating bills. However, she recommends that people call their utility company first to see what the company can assist.

“We want customers to know what is available to them. If they contact us, they can look at a bunch of different programs and find the one that best meets their needs,” Lee Gierczynski told Columbia Gas.

Gierczynski said the price of natural gas has increased significantly, almost doubling in some areas. He said the spike was due to the pandemic and the surge in demand.

“A lot of the problems are related to supply chains globally,” says Gierczynski.

People can also call the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania if they need help heating their home. The spokesperson said the organization can also match you with the right program and even complete an application for you.

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You can call 211 or text your ZIP code to 898 211 with questions. Rising natural gas costs can affect your heating bill – CBS Pittsburgh


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