Thousands of Nebraska citizens are in need of electric bill assistance every year. If you fall behind on your heat or utility bill during the harsh winter months, you may be terrified about having your power disconnected and freezing to death. Fortunately, there are several programs available to help those in need avoid that type of fate.
Like most states, the state of Nebraska offers two major programs for residents who need help with their electricity and/or heating bills. The two main programs are known as the Nebraska Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program.
Nebraska’s LIHEAP program is a federally funded, state run program that provides payment assistance for people with low incomes to help pay heating and cooling costs. The program helps partially pay for electricity, gas, propane, kerosene, wood, and other fuel costs.
For more information on LIHEAP, contact your county’s Department of Health and Human Services.
The Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to help Nebraska residents pay for improvements to their home that will make them more energy efficient. This results in lower electric and utility bills, as well.
For weatherization assistance, households with young children under the age of six or elderly individuals over the age of 70 are generally given preference. However, all low income households may be eligible for assistance. For more information or to check if you are eligible, contact your local community agency.
For those facing emergency situations, there are some limited sources of emergency charitable funds to help pay your electric or utility bills. Keep in mind that these funds are to be used only as a last resort for emergency situations only.
Aquila offers the Heatshare program, which includes financial assistance, counseling, and referrals. Call 1-800-336-4547 for info. Aquila also offers the Heat Aid Fund, with information available through the Salvation Army at 402-898-5966.
Black Hills Energy’s Heatshare program is also administered by the Salvation Army. Contact your local office or call 1-800-699-3439 ext. 5885.
The Cuming County Power District’s Operation Round Up program accepts customer donations and provides these funds for emergency use for a variety of needs. Call 402-372-2463 or 877-572-2463 to learn more.
Other charitable funds and the corresponding contact info:
Share Some Warmth
Metropolitan Utilities District
Heat Aid Fund
Nebraska Public Power District
Pennies for Power
Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation
Operation Round Up
402-336-2803 or 800-967-1987
Omaha Public Power District
Energy Assistance Program (EAP)
402-343-7755 or 1-888-890-9569
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."