Central Floridians who qualify for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP) can now receive up to $3,500 for multiple energy bills while funds are available – a 75% increase from the previous maximum of $2,000 per household. EHEAP is 100% federally funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and helps qualifying seniors pay energy bills in an emergency.
“With this additional funding, we will be able to help a greater number of seniors across Central Florida,” said Karla Radka, President and CEO of Senior Resource Alliance, the organization that has been managing EHEAP. “The longstanding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will not keep our seniors in the dark.”
Beginning October 1, EHEAP applications will be overseen by three of SRA’s provider organizations. The program will be managed by the Osceola Council on Aging in Orange and Osceola counties, Meals on Wheels, Etc., in Seminole County, and by the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation in Brevard County.
“We are so grateful to our partner agencies for their willingness to take a proactive role in ensuring our seniors receive access to EHEAP,” said Radka. “With their support, we can continue to provide Central Florida seniors in need with the financial assistance to help keep their lights on and their hopes up.”
For the past month, SRA has overseen EHEAP applications, and in that time, the organization has seen a 190% increase in applications submitted across the four counties. In total, SRA has processed nearly $100,000 in energy bill assistance for seniors during the month of September. Orlando Utilities Commission, Duke Energy and Kissimmee Utility Authority have agreed to partner to promote EHEAP to their customers.
To qualify for EHEAP, applicants must be age 60 or older and reside in a home located in Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Brevard county. The energy bill does not need to be in the elder’s name to qualify, but the elder will need to provide proof of residence, such as a driver’s license or other identification. The applicant must also meet income requirements and be experiencing a home energy crisis, such as disconnection, delinquency or past due bills.
Those interested must fill out and submit the application located at SeniorResourceAlliance.org/EHEAP. For questions and more information, please contact (407) 514-1804.