1. How do I get assistance with my electric, fuel or firewood costs?
    To get Utility Assistance you must apply for the program through our office and meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. How do I apply for Utility Assistance?
    Call one of our offices to schedule an appointment with an Intake Worker.
  3. What do I do if I receive a Shut Off notice?
    The first thing you should do is contact the utility company to make payment arrangements and request an extension on your bill. If speaking with your utility company doesn’t produce an acceptable arrangement, MCCAA may be able to accept walk-in appointments for Shut-Off emergencies. Call our office to schedule an appointment with an Intake Worker to apply for Utility Assistance. When you call, let us know what kind of Shut Off notice you received so that we can schedule your appointment accordingly.
  4. Must I wait to receive a Shut Off notice before I apply for assistance?
    No, you can apply for assistance as long as you have energy bills and meet program eligibility guidelines. You should apply for assistance before you receive a Shut Off notice to allow for processing time of your application and to avoid service interruption.
  5. How often can I apply for assistance?
    Utility Assistance is available once per program year. You must wait one year and one day after the last time you got assistance before you apply again.
  6. Can I get help now with electric costs, and again later in the year for a different utility like gas, propane, or wood?
    No. Assistance is limited to one payment per household, per program year.
  7. If I qualify, how soon will I receive the credit to my utility bill of choice?
    Pledged assistance is generally credited to your utility account within 8-12 weeks.
  8. Do I need to continue making payments on my bill if I am awarded an assistance credit?
    Yes. Your assistance credit will take up to 12 weeks to reach your account. If you receive a credit, you are still responsible for paying your utility bill while the credit is being processed. Our promise to make a payment on your behalf will not stop your utility company from sending you more notices or shutting off your service if you do not keep your account in good standing.
  9. What kinds of energy bills do you help with?
    Utility Assistance credits are available for electricity, propane, natural gas, heating oil, and firewood costs.
  10. Why do I need to provide all my utility bills if you can only assist me with one account?
    All bills are required so that we can get an accurate idea of how much your utilities are costing you each month. You may not qualify for assistance if you only show us part of your utility expenses.
  11. Does the energy bill need to be in my name?
    No, but the bill must be for service at the address where you live.
  12. May I apply for HEAP if I have received energy bill payment assistance from other programs such as REACH?
  13. Do you help with utility bill deposits?
  14. How much credit can I get for my utility bill?
    For the 2013 program year, the possible credit range is $150 to $250.  The credit range can change each year. The dollar amount you receive is determined by your household income and the number of people in your home.
  15. If I live in a mobile home can I apply for HEAP?
    Maybe. In order for a mobile home to be eligible for any HEAP program, it must not be mobile (wheels removed, attached porch, etc.) and it must reside in the same location for a reasonable amount of time prior to the applying.
  16. If my utility bill is included in my rent, can I apply for HEAP?
    Yes, as long as you can provide a statement showing your utility usage (therms, kilowatt-hours, gallons, or cords) and utility costs. Alternatively, your landlord or property manager can provide a letter stating the dollar amount of your rent that goes toward your home’s energy costs.
  17. If I rent a room from someone do I need to include their income?
    Yes. If utility use is shared by the entire household then it is mandatory that you submit income documentation for the entire household.
  18. Is MCCAA a part of PG&E?
    No. MCCAA is a local non-profit agency serving low-income residents in Merced County. Although we help people by providing payments to PG&E bills and enroll clients in some PG&E’s services such as CARE/FERA, we are not directly affiliated with PG&E.