National Grid helps connect people with heating assistance
Even though we’re well into winter, there are a number of programs that can help people worried about paying their heating bills.
“The jump in supply costs is pretty significant this year,” explained National Grid Spokesman Patrick Stella.
National Grid predicted the jump in cost for them to get gas into people’s homes due to supply issues. The company is also finding more customers behind on their bills.
“Not only do we have the pandemic, which has definitely impacted people, but we have these extra costs that are rising on the supply side,” he said.
Customer advocates like Kari Kelly at National Grid connect people with resources they need.
“We’re able to meet customers where they’re at depending on their situation, so it’s definitely an individualized basis which is nice, because every customer is facing different situations,” Kelly said.
HEAP—or the Home Energy Assistance Program—can help low-income families or those in an emergency. It’s available on a first-come, first-serve basis until March 15th.
There’s also a new program for HEAP-eligible customers called a Regular Arrears Supplement. It’s a grant to cover up to $10,000 in past-due bills. That money is expected to be offered through September.
“I think it’s really important, especially with how the pandemic has been going, it’s nice that we’re able to support them. A lot of times when they reach out they don’t know we exist or that we have this huge knowledge base that is available to them, so it’s kind of just giving some hope back to customers that are struggling,” Kelly said.
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Learn how the programs work, and about a new program to take care of the extra need during the pandemic, by watching the video of Stella Porter’s story.