LIHEAP applications – starting November 1

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat.  Each year the LIHEAP applications can be submitted starting November 1.  These are accepted through March 1 of the following year, or until funding runs out.  The sooner you apply the better your chances of getting funding.

The Department of Human Services may extend or shorten the program depending upon the availability of federal funds. The exact amount of cash aid depends on the type of fuel being used for heating as well as the county where applicant is livingLIHEAP Benefit Amount Table You will have to select your county, and fuel type, to find the maximum benefit you can get through LIHEAP in Pennsylvania.

Submit your application by going to:
http://www.dhs.pa.gov/citizens/heatingassistanceliheap/index.htm#.Vl3V4N-rSbU

Tips for Saving Money on Utility Bills

As we learn of good ways to save money on your utility bills, we’ll post them here.  If you try something and it really works – we’d appreciate hearing so we can highlight it even more for others.  If you try something that is posted and it doesn’t work – please let us know so we can delete the idea!  You can always contact us at:  help@tecare.org.

Note: At any point these programs may be discontinued or the guidelines changed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Low cost Internet from Comcast

Comcast’s  Internet Essentials brings affordable home internet to low income families, those receiving Housing Assistance, Seniors and some Community College Students. Those who qualify will receive fast, home internet for $9.95/mo + tax.  There will be no activation fees or equipment rental fees.  They will also be given access to free internet training (online, in print or in a classroom).  Find out if you are eligible to participate in the Internet Essentials or call 1-255-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376).

Other Low Cost Internet Options

If you don’t qualify for Internet Essentials – you might go to EveryoneOn.org and see if they have an option that would work for your family.


If you have a student in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District – there may be some home internet options available for middle or high school students.  Students should ask their counselors for more details.

Saving on Phone Bills

Did you know that you can use your computer to make FREE phone calls.  IF you have internet service and a gmail account  – you can go to google and make a call anywhere, anytime in the USA or Canada – Here are the steps:
  1. Sign into gmail.  If you need a gmail account – you can set one up (for FREE) by going to gmail.com.  You don’t need to actually USE the gmail account for emails – but you can if you want!  But you will need to sign into your gmail account each time you want to use the phone option.
  2. Once you are on the page that you’d use for your gmail emails you should see the words:  CALL PHONE along the left hand margin.  (Remember that gmail may alter the design on their page and this may change locations).  Just click on that and a phone key pad will appear – you just dial the number you need and the call is made.
  3. You can add video to the call if you want – but it can just act like a regular phone.
  4. The photo on the right will show you the way it should look.

Free Cell Phone Option

Federal Lifeline Assistance: Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. Lifeline is a government benefit program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. The free phone comes with 350 minutes, unlimited free texts and 500 mb free data each month.

Go to Assurance Free Android or call 1-800-375-5017 for more details and to see if you qualify.

Great Phone Deal from Walmart

Have you heard about the Straight Talk phone plan available at Walmart?  As the plan stands now*, you go to Walmart and buy a phone (anywhere from $30-$200 or more).  Then you sign up for their Straight Talk plan.

They have a number of options available:

  • $30/mo – unlimited talk and text, no internet
  • $45/mo – unlimited talk and text and internet
  • There is also a plan to get a regular house phone for only $15/mo.   (You do need to buy a receiver for this, plus the house phone – but those are one-time purchases.)  This might be helpful for those of you with kids and you’d like them to have a phone at home.
  • They also have a family plan available for the cell phones – we don’t currently have those details but you can ask Walmart for them.

Each month you can either go to the store and buy a new phone card and add the minutes to your phone, OR you can have it set up for a direct pay option.  If you don’t pay one month, then you just lose phone service until you pay.

In making the transition, you can keep your old phone number.    This might be a MUCH CHEAPER way to have phone service for your family.  Check it out!

* The plan details here are subject to change. Contact your local Walmart for more details.

Saving on Water Bills

How much water do you use when you take a shower? Wash a load of clothes? Flush a toilet? Even brush your teeth? One important measure of water use is how much water one person uses in one day, or per-capita water use (per is Latin for by and capita is Latin for head). The number is usually expressed as gallons of water used per person per day. If you need to save money on a bill – perhaps checking out how much water is used by these activities would help you.  For example – if 2.5 gallons of water are used EACH MINUTE for a shower – and you can cut 5 minutes off your shower – then you save 12.5 gallons of water per shower.   If you shower every day –  that’s 375 gallons a month!  Then you can look at your bill and calculate your savings.  It all adds up!  

Calculate your daily water use here  

The list below is just the basics of how much water is needed for these activities. 

Bath: 50 gallons
Shower: 2.5 gallons per minute
Teeth brushing: 1 gallon
Hands/face washing: 1 gallon
Face/leg shaving: 1 gallon
Dishwasher: 20 gallons/load
Dishwashing by hand: 5 gallons/load
Clothes washing (machine): : 10 gallons/load
Toilet flush: 3 gallons
Glasses of water drunk: 8 oz. per glass (1/16th of a gallon)

Saving on Your Electric Bill

Ideas for saving on your electric bill from PECO: Energy Assessment, Rebates & Discounts, Recycling and Gas conversion & efficiency.


Assistance Programs

Customer Assistance Program – PECO -PECO’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) provides a monthly credit for eligible low income customers. The credit is based on the customer’s total household gross income and energy usage

CARES: Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services -Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES) is a referral and information service designed to assist special-needs, low-income customers who have a temporary personal or financial hardship that prevents the payment of the utility bill.  Call 1-800-774-7040 to determine if your household qualifies for the CARES program.

MEAF: Matching Energy Assistance Fund -The Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAF) is an energy assistance program that enables us to assist low-income, residential customers in our service territory with bill payment. To determine if your household qualifies for assistance through MEAF please call 1-800-774-7040.

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T&E Care is an IRS recognized non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.   The official registration and financial information of Tredyffrin & Easttown Care may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

 

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