Many utility providers have their own assistance program that can help their customer with utility costs.
These types of program are not part of the federally funded or state fund that is administered by State of Oklahoma DHS LIHEAP program. Many are funded through the utility provider’s rate-pair social services or private donations by energy consumers or stakeholders.
DHS LIHEAP program staff does not have knowledge of how the assistance programs operated by the utility providers functions or who would qualify for the programs.
The benefits from the utility provider’s assistance program can appear on the client’s utility account as the following with a credited amount such as $10 or $25 a month.
This is confusion for the clients, because as it appears to be the DHS LIHEAP program, it is not. The client needs to be directed to contact the utility provider’s customer service number or Salvation Army.
The DHS LIHEAP program staff does not:
- have knowledge of the programs,
- have input regarding eligibility of the programs,
- facilitate the programs.
Some examples of the utility provider’s assistance programs include:
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) – Light A Life Fund: Customers can pay a little extra each month to support the Light A Life program that helps families facing financial emergencies to heat and cool their homes. Light A Life is a year-round program administered by the Salvation Army and operates in 39 Oklahoma counties served by PSO.
Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) – Share the Warmth: Is administered by the Oklahoma Salvation Army. The program is paid for by customer donations, and it was established as a non-profit organization for the low income and less fortunate. The objective is to help people pay their heating bills during the winter, and any type of financial aid is focused on those people who are faced with an emergency situation.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) – Lend a Hand: Customer contributions are forwarded to the Salvation Army which distributes the money to help pay for electricity, gas, fuel or firewood. For more information, please contact The Salvation Army office in your area.