Utility Bill Assistance



KeySpan Neighborhood Heating Fund utility bill assistance

One way to get help from KeySpan is the Neighborhood Heating Fund program. Donations from the public, local businesses, and the company are used to help the less fortunate. This money is used for the sick, seniors, and working poor families that are in a crisis situation. The funding associated with Neighborhood Heating Fund can be used to keep the lights or power on for a few more days, if not weeks.

The amount that people can donate can be as low as a few cents per month (using Operation Roundup) to a maximum of any dollar they want. For people that apply for help and are later given assistance for paying their utility bills, those customers are usually given tens of dollars in support...not thousands of dollars. Whether donating, or seeking help, the dollar amounts from KeySpan Neighborhood Heating Fund are not large.

There are a couple ways to donate. Roundup means each monthly utility bill is “rounded up” to the next highest amount, and that differential is given to the program. One time contributions are also accepted, and this can of course be any dollar amount that someone wants to contribute. In either case, the donor is normally eligible for a tax break each year. In addition, corporate funds are often used to match some of the donations that the public makes.

As money is contributed, all of this will be accumulated over time. Then as people apply for energy bill help, they will be assessed to determine if they can receive any of these donated funds. The process is strict and time-consuming. In fact, local social serve agencies will also partner with the company on the KeySpan Neighborhood Heating Fund program. They help review applications, look for abuse or fraud, disburse any assistance for utility bills, and do what they can to make this program successful.





Anyone can apply for utility bill assistance. However there will unfortunately need to be priorities made due to funding levels. There are also income thresholds and other criteria used to determine who is eligible. They include residency; only KeySpan customers can apply; whether past energy bill have been paid on time; and many more.

Generally, since KeySpan Neighborhood Heating Fund runs off donations and was designed to be a way to give back to the community, the funds go to the most vulnerable. This means that the elderly, disabled, sick, and others are usually higher on the list. No matter what though, the applicant needs to be in a crisis; this is not some type of entitlement.

There are a few ways to take part in this KeySpan Neighborhood Heating Fund program. If someone wants to donate, they can call the company to go through their options. If a customer wants to apply for help for a bill, whether heating or energy, they can call a local social service agency. Or they can also dial the customer service number to learn about application sites.

As with any program, funding is first come – served. It runs out early and often. If assistance is needed, or to contribute to KeySpan Neighborhood Heating Fund, dial the United Way at 631-940-3700.

By: Jon McNamara


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