The Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission (FCEOC) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income Fresno County residents pay up to $390 of their energy bill. Individuals and families may only apply for this program once a year, but the payment can be made even after a 48-hour notice has been issued and can help you avoid power shut off with as little as one day's notice.
According to the Fresno EOC website, the requirements and documentation include:
* be a Fresno County resident
* be low-income
* have a valid social security card
* provide current income verification (pay stubs of previous 6 weeks)
* present personal ID such as a driver's license
* provide pages 1-3 of current energy bill or 48-hour notice
The application is available online (Adobe Reader required) and in their office, but online forms must be printed out, completed, and taken into their office during regular business hours. On-site workers will make sure all the paperwork is complete before application submission so last minute rejection doesn't leave anyone without power unexpectedly.
You can reach EOC's LIHEAP program as follows:
Address (New location):
HEAP / ECIP
1371 Stanislaus (map)
Fresno, CA 93706
Phone: (559) 263-1135
Fax: (559) 263-1528
Contacting real people on the telephone is surprisingly easy. Walk in service is speedy and friendly; about one hour of wait time was observed. Names should be entered on their list as soon as applicants enter the facility to avoid needless delays.
PG&E bills are available for download at their website. Unemployment and other financial assistance income documents are acceptable records, and income is not required to be approved for the payment. The information is used to determine if the household income is below a specific cut-off amount, and the cut-off amount depends on several factors including number of individuals living in the home.
More information is available at Fresno County EOC and the California Department of Community Services and Development.
Readers are welcome to post their experiences and any questions about this program in the comments section.
If readers know of or manage a program or business that offers goods or services for those who are struggling with financial burdens, please send email to Frugal.Leslie@gmail.com. If you have a specific need and don't know where to turn, submit your information via email as well, and it will be featured here if appropriate.