TRENTON, NJ -- As temperatures have been fluctuating on the thermostat, so too has the price of home energy for many New Jerseyans who struggle to pay their bills to heat and cool their home.   Last week, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminded residents that assistance is available for energy costs for low-income energy customers who qualify.  

Under the Mercer County Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is provided in coordination with the state New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, individuals meeting various income qualifications can apply for bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance and energy-related home repairs.

LIHEAP is designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs. This year, the application period began on Oct. 1, 2019 and will continue through Aug. 31, 2020.

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To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, the applicant household must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent; and have gross income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. An eligibility chart can be found on the Mercer County website.

“For many households, winter brings worry about the cost of heating and other energy bills,” Mr. Hughes said. “As this year’s program gets under way, I also urge our residents to look into simple ways they can reduce their energy costs such as using fluorescent light bulbs and weather-stripping doors and windows.”

Mercer County residents can apply for LIHEAP in person at several locations throughout the area.    Applicatiion locations include the McDade Administration Building located at 640 South Broad Street in Trenton, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays until 6:30 p.m. through Aug. 31, 2020.   Assistance also is provided at the County Connection Office located on Route 33 at Paxson Avenue in Hamilton.  Hours for LIHEAP applicants at that location are: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon by appointment only; and Saturdays, Oct. 5  and 19, Nov. 2 and 16, and Dec. 7 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Walk-ins are welcome during the Saturday hours. 

For more information, contact Home Energy Assistance at (609) 989-6858 or (609) 989-6959.

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