Payment Assistance & Programs for Low-Income Consumers
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This section provides information regarding government and private agencies that may provide payment assistance to consumers.
The Vermont Lifeline Telephone Service Credit Program reduces telephone service cost for eligible consumers. (Please note: The Link-Up Program that reduces phone service installation charges is no longer available.)
Vermont offers consumers with disabilities several programs to help stay connected to the telephone system. Please see the Programs for Consumers with Disabilities page for more information.
There are several fuel-group organizations that help their members save money by jointly purchasing heating fuel at discounted rates negotiated with commercial fuel dealers. These include (but are not necessarily limited to): Energy Co-op of Vermont; Ruth Clark Fuel Group; and VHeat Fuel Buying Program (through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union).
In 2006 the Vermont legislature passed Act 208 (H. 859), An Act Relating to the Energy Security and Reliability Act. Included within this act was a directive for the Board to “… design a proposed electricity affordability program” that would “… provide assistance in the payment of electricity bills for eligible low income residential customers.” The act further directed the Board to “… design a program that is funded by all customer classes in an equitable and reasonable manner and that results in the reimbursement of net incremental costs incurred by electric utilities to implement the program, taking into consideration the benefits as well as the costs.”
To apply, residential GMP customers must fill out an application form and mail it along with a copy of their most current electric bill to:
As a result of Act 136, passed by the Vermont legislature in May 2012, Vermont Gas is required to offer a low income assistance program to its residential customers. The Vermont Gas LIAP was reviewed and approved by the Vermont Public Service Board in Docket 7888 on January 15, 2013.
The Board order requires that beginning July 1, 2013, income-eligible residential Vermont Gas customers can receive a 20% discount off of all three components of their natural gas bill: the daily access charge, the natural gas charge, and the distribution charge. The program is available to residential natural gas customers with household incomes at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. The program is funded by a monthly fee paid by all Vermont Gas customers beginning with their July 2013 bills. Residential customers will pay $1.39 per month (including those on the LIAP).
Eligibility for the Vermont Gas LIAP will be determined by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) Energy Assistance Office. The DCF has indicated that applications will be available after June 15, 2013. Please contact DCF at 800-775-0516 to obtain an application. After reviewing the application, DCF's Energy Assistance Office will notify the consumer whether or not s/he is eligible. If so, DCF will also notify Vermont Gas.