With the costs of fuel and electricity skyrocketing this winter, CCI’s Fuel Assistance team has tackled an influx of applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) with determination.
“They’re a devoted crew, they really are,” shared Energy Manager Lisa McGee, explaining that the team hits the ground running every day to help customers in need.
So far this program year, the team has received a total of 4,877 HEAP applications. Out of those applications, 1,696 are from new applicants who have never before applied for HEAP through CCI.
"I think right there, that shows a need, a huge need," shared Lisa.
It’s a need that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The team has also responded to 720 requests for Emergency Fuel Assistance. The emergency program is available for customers who are in danger of running out of fuel completely, including those with less than 1/8th of a tank of oil.
For those who have applied for HEAP and haven’t heard back yet, Lisa asks for patience and says her team is working through all applications as quickly as possible. For anyone in need who hasn’t applied yet, she encourages calling the office as soon as you can to schedule an appointment.
“We call you, we go over all your information on the phone, and then your packet is mailed to you with instructions on what we need and what to sign, all that good stuff,” Lisa explained. “And then the client either drops the app off or they can email it in, they can mail it in, they can drop it at our office. They can drop it after hours; we have the drop slot still. Or if they prefer we can do a face-to-face.”
Customers can also sign up for the program online on the MaineHousing website. Once a customer in our region submits their initial information via the online application, a CCI staff member will call them to verify the information and schedule an appointment.