Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York State has received an additional $63 million in federal funding that will be used to increase the base home heating assistance eligible households will receive. With the additional funding, eligible homeowners and renters could receive up to $1,126 from the Home Energy Assistance Program to help keep their homes warm this winter in the face of higher energy costs. New York has received more than $412 million in federal funding for HEAP this winter, up from $387 million last year.
“As temperatures dip this winter, my administration is committed to making sure all New Yorkers are able to heat their homes,” Governor Hochul said. “Through this federal funding, we can help more families cover their energy bills and still have the money to pay for other household needs, like food and medicine. As New Yorkers face higher energy costs, this is a critical resource for families to ensure their homes are safe and warm this winter.”
HEAP, overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, is federally funded. The higher benefit levels took effect on December 11, 2022. Eligible households can receive one Regular HEAP benefit per season with a maximum of $1,126, depending on their income, household size, how they heat their home and if the household includes a vulnerable family member. Previously, the maximum benefit had been $976.
The value of the Regular HEAP benefits had already increased over last winter by anywhere from 14 to 33 percent, depending how the home is heated. This additional funding boosts those increases to between 30 and 56 percent over last year.
Households that heat with oil, kerosene, or propane will now receive a base payment of $1,050, up from $675 last year; those that heat with wood, wood pellets, coal, or corn, will receive $685, up from $525 last year; and those that heat with electricity or natural gas will receive $500, up from $350 last year.
Households that received a Regular HEAP benefit before the higher amounts took effect will receive a supplemental benefit to make up the difference. Those supplemental payments are expected to be issued beginning in early 2023. As with all HEAP payments, benefits are issued directly to the household’s heating vendor.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “The Home Energy Assistance Program is especially important to help some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers keep their homes warm in the wintertime. Anyone who thinks they may be eligible should be apply as soon as possible so they can continue to heat their homes as the colder temperatures set in.”
Representative Paul Tonko said, “With winter nearly upon us, more Americans will struggle with the burden of rising home energy costs. I pushed hard to deliver federal funding for HEAP and I’m thankful to have secured these critical dollars for individuals and families in our Capital Region and nation. I will continue to do everything in my power to provide the relief New Yorkers need and ensure that every family can afford their home energy bills this winter.”
The U.S. Energy Information Administration anticipates significantly higher heating fuel prices this winter, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts slightly colder temperatures for New York State, underscoring the importance of this additional funding for HEAP.
Applications for assistance are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by phone, with funding provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents outside of New York City may also apply online for Regular HEAP benefits. New York City residents may download an application and obtain program information here.
New Yorkers that have already received a Regular HEAP benefit and continue to fall behind on their utility bills or are running short of heating fuel may also qualify for a one-time Emergency HEAP benefit. Applications for Emergency benefits will be accepted starting on January 3, 2023.