Lower Your Utility Bill
There are simple and easy ways to save money on your utility bill. Not only are these cost-cutting tips helpful to your budget the energy savings benefits the planet as well.
The majority of homes have what is called a phantom load, the amount of electricity that is being drained by equipment when it is in off or standby mode. Any device with a clock display, a remote control or an instant on capability may be consuming energy constantly. To save time, put these devices on a power strip so that they may be turned off all at once. TV’s, game consoles, laptops and similar devices use more electricity than a simple built in clock.
Buy ENERGY STAR® appliances to reduce your phantom load for devices that would be impractical to turn off. The amount of standby power can sometimes be found with the product specifications in the owner’s manual. Be sure to consider if unplugging an appliance could erase personal settings or other data that has been programmed.
For information about how to save energy and save money with rebates and incentives
Utilize window blinds and shades. On sunny winter days open blinds, shades, and curtains, especially if your windows face south, to help keep you warm. At night, close the blinds, shades, and curtains to help keep heat inside. In the summer keep heat out by closing window shades and blinds. It is helpful to keep windows closed to prevent hot air from blowing inside. Change the filters in your heating and cooling system regularly.
One of the easiest ways to save is to turn down your heat thermostat to 68 degrees F. For every degree you lower the temperature, you could save 1% to 3% on your heating bill.
Consider purchasing and installing a programmable thermostat. You can save about $180 a year by properly setting your programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. Plus, Indiana customers with natural gas service can receive a $20 rebate for installing a new, ENERGY STAR qualified unit.
For more ideas on how to reduce your utility bill visit this website.
Renter Eviction Assistance
It does not take much to fall behind on rent. A medical emergency, vehicle breakdown or missing work to care for a sick child can put you behind on monthly rent payments. The first order of business is to contact your landlord to advise them of the situation. It will not help to try and evade the landlord. If the landlord threatens eviction you need help. Learn about the eviction laws and your rights as a tenant in Indiana.
Another resource is the Coalition for the Homeless. This non-profit organization strives to prevent homelessness by preventing it in the first place.
To schedule an appointment, call the Eviction Prevention Hotline at 212-776-2039 on Wednesday mornings beginning at 9:30 am. Find out more regarding how to stay in your home or call 212-776-2000.
Help With Food Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
If you or your family are experiencing hunger there are services and people who can help. There is no reason to feel bad about receiving food assistance – that is why public and private food assistance organizations exist.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as Food Stamps, is a federal program administered by each state. In Indiana, the Family and Social Services Administration ensures the federal regulations are initially implemented and consistently applied in each county.
SNAP is designed to raise the nutritional level of low-income households by supplementing food purchasing dollars with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)/Hoosier Works card. The EBT card is similar in appearance to a debit card and functions like one as well. Benefits are transferred to the EBT card monthly to be used at most retail groceries. Find help in your county or call 877-768-5098 for assistance.
Telephone Lifeline Discount
Phone service is a necessity, not a luxury. Everyone that wants phone service should have access. The federal government funds a program called Lifeline. Local telephone companies administer the program. The Lifeline Indiana program offers a monthly discount on basic local phone service for low-income persons fulfilling eligibility requirements.
To find a list of telephone companies in Indiana, and the Lifeline application follow this link. Lifeline applications must be submitted directly to your local phone company.
In 2009, the Indiana Drug Card was launched to help the underinsured and the uninsured pay for their prescription medications. The Indiana Drug Card program is a free prescription assistance program that is available to all residents of Indiana. Persons with insurance are also eligible to use the program for medications not covered by their pharmacy benefits. Those with Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or high deductible plans can also use this program.
In addition to being free the program is very simple and easy. No personal information, no enrollment forms, and no eligibility requirements are required to join the program. There are no restrictions of any sort. Indiana residents can obtain a free Rx card here.
Home Heating and Cooling Assistance
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program to help low-income persons stay safe and healthy. LIHEAP can assist with home energy bills, utility crises, and weatherization to help you keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If you are having difficulty paying your bill contact your local utility company. Here you will find LIHEAP description, links to an application and additional resources or call 800-872-0371.
Free Legal Services
If you have a civil legal issue, but you cannot afford an attorney there is help. Low cost or free attorneys and legal professionals will work with you on issues such as divorce, domestic abuse, foreclosure, and denial of assistance services. Locate legal help near you.
Here are a few options.
- Community Legal Clinic – Protective Order Project 812-855-9229
- Indianapolis Bar Association 317-269-1915
- Indiana Legal Services – Free Legal Aid Indiana Senior Law Project 317-631-9410
- Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, Inc. 317-635-9538
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