Each state runs a program that helps households with low incomes buy fuel for heating or cooling. Often the same agency will help with things like weatherization and applicance replacement. More states are now creating their own programs for making homes more energy efficient. And the federal government is offering tax credits toward the same goals.
Here are some links to help you track down energy assistance resources in your state.
- LIHEAP - Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Pays a portion of your heating or cooling bill to your utility provider (like the electric company). Apply early in the season. Most states combine this with some type of emergency program, such as help with shut-offs. Go here to find out where to apply in your state.
All states finance energy-related repairs for low-income homeowners and renters. You will probably apply to the same state agency that runs the LIHEAP program. It helps with such things as insulation and weatherstripping, sometimes other energy-related repairs. This may be combined with a program that does furnace, or other applicance, repairs. Go here to find out where to apply in your state. (Scroll to the bottom of your state's program list.)
- Home Energy-Related Tax Credits
The 2009 federal Recovery Act expanded two home energy tax credits: the non-business energy property credit and the residential energy efficient property credit. These are significant credits for anyone doing home renovations or buying new appliances or alternative energy equipment. Go to IRS site for details.
Again, your state may be providing even more energy-related help for homeowners and renters. Your state govenment or legal services program's statewide website may be a good place to start.