Residents looking for winter utility and weatherization assistance may get some relief Friday. Staff from Riverside County agencies and Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington’s office will be at Town Hall from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 23, to offer winter utility and weatherization assistance to hill residents.
Both are income-based programs and participants will have to bring documentation to be approved.
The utility assistance amounts for electric or propane bills range from $230 to $383. The county’s Community Action Partnership (CAP) program, which administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, will provide a credit to the person’s Southern California Edison account or their propane supplier. The credit should be available to the account within four weeks.
If there is an urgency, CAP can contact the utility and make a verbal pledge of assistance. These are not cash grants to individuals. The county will make a credit to the individual’s account. As the bill comes due, the credit covers the bill or bills up to the award amount.
Riverside County CAP has nearly $11 million from federal grants for this fall, according to Vince Wrzalinski, director of the program. Individuals are eligible twice a year and the next funding period will be in February.
The maximum income levels are $2,100 per month for one person and $2,700 per month for two people, according to Opal Hellweg, legislative assistant to Supervisor Chuck Washington. For households with 3 to 15 members, the monthy income threshold ranges from $3,500 to $6,640.
If one qualifies for the utility assistance, then that person is also eligible for weatherization help, if that is needed. This can include checking doors and windows for gaps or reducing inefficiency in appliances such as air conditioning or water heaters, and other efforts to reduce energy use.
“Any repairs or replacements, such as weather stripping, are provided at no cost,” said Josie Fernandez of CAP. “We want the home to be more energy efficient.”