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Emergency utilities assistance offered to seniors to pay energy bills in time of need

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Senior Resource Alliance-led effort supports seniors amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

From Senior Resource Alliance

Central Floridians living with at least one resident who is age 60 or older might be eligible for energy bill assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP) helps eligible seniors pay energy bills in an emergency. The program is 100% federally funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was created in partnership with the Department of Elder Affairs, Senior Resource Alliance and its partner agencies, along with Central Florida utilities. EHEAP-eligible residents can receive up to $2,000 for multiple energy bills while funds are available.

“We must continue to take care of our beloved elderly population,” said Karla Radka, President and CEO of the Senior Resource Alliance. “We are thankful for this partnership with the Central Florida utility companies, not only so that we can supply financial assistance, but also ultimately provide seniors with the comfort and peace of mind they need.”

Utility categories eligible for heating/cooling bill assistance include electricity, natural gas, propane, wood/coal and refillable fuels. Benefits may also be used for:

Pre-paying energy bills

Purchasing blankets, portable fans, space heaters and window air conditioners

Repairing existing heating/cooling unit

Deposits to connect or restore energy

Late fees and disconnect/reconnect fees

Charges from a now-closed account previously held by the elder resident

Payment to landlord when utility costs are included in rent

Temporary emergency shelter due to an energy-related crisis

Orlando Utilities Commission, Duke Energy and Kissimmee Utility Authority have agreed to partner to promote EHEAP to their customers.

To qualify for EHEAP, applicants must be age 60 or older and reside in a home located in Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Brevard county. The energy bill does not need to be in the elder’s name to qualify, but the elder will need to provide proof of residence, such as a driver’s license or other identification. The applicant must also meet income requirements and be experiencing a home energy crisis, such as disconnection, delinquency or past due bills.

Those interested must fill out and submit the application located at SeniorResourceAlliance.org/EHEAP. For questions and more information, please contact (407) 514-1804.

Serving the community since 1995, The Senior Resource Alliance (SRA) is the Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida, which covers Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. The agency is the local resource for accessing the many services and programs of the state and federal government available to senior citizens, their caregivers and family members. SRA is also an objective clearinghouse for information and services offered by local, state and national organizations. For more information, visit SeniorResourceAlliance.org.

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