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Resources for families in need of winter heating assistance

Can companies turn off your heat during winter?
Posted at 4:31 PM, Dec 07, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – Can utility companies turn off your heat during the winter if you don’t pay – despite the chilly temperatures?

Under state law, utility companies are required to give people with delinquent accounts adequate opportunity to apply for public assistance and the chance to enter into a reasonable payment plan.

State law also protects people from having their heat disconnected between December 1 and March 15 *IF* they qualify for and apply for public assistance.

While the assistance is provided during the winter, your bill doesn’t disappear, as you’ll eventually have to pay it.

In Marion County, those in need of assistance can call 2-1-1 to see if they qualify for energy assistance through a federal grant.  The combined annual income for your household must be at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 

Here is a look at the areas of Indianapolis which have the most people living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census:

For those who do not qualify, your heat can be turned off during the winter, but assistance programs are available. 

If you live in Marion County, it's recommended that you reach out for help before your utilities are disconnected. Groups such as United Way of Central Indiana, Connect2Help, and the John Boner Neighborhood Center are scheduling appointments with people in need.

RELATED | Energy assistance programs in your area | Learn more about the moratorium on disconnecting utilities

All appointments for those outside of Marion County can be made through the county’s intake offices.

You can find a list of those below: