BOWLING GREEN, Mo. | The not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) is making sure disadvantaged people still have access to utility assistance during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
The agency is urging applicants to sign up for the program online at www.necac.org and mail completed forms to the agency. People without computer access may call a NECAC County Service Center and request a mailed application.
“The idea is to help prevent illness by avoiding face-to-face interaction,” said NECAC County Services Programs Director Linda Fritz. “NECAC is known for its great customer service and we will make sure that those in need won't be turned away during this virus outbreak.”
The winter portion of the utility assistance program ends March 31, so now's the time to sign up. Two types of assistance are available — the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). NECAC has about $1.6 million in funding remaining. The programs are funded by the federal government and distributed through the states, which contract with non-profit groups such as NECAC to administer the programs at the local level.
LIHEAP assists with paying part of the energy bills of income-qualifying people. Eligible households could receive a minimum of $47 up to a maximum of $495, depending upon income, household size and type of heating source. Payments are made directly to utility companies. ECIP offers assistance of up to $800 to qualifying households of those who have received a utility shut-off notice.
Here's how to apply:
• Applications are available online at www.necac.org by clicking on the energy assistance tab in the center of the screen. Complete the application online, print off and then mail it to NECAC, 805 Business Highway 61, Bowling Green, Mo., 63334. Be sure to include required documents such as copies of Social Security cards for everyone in your household, and copies of your utility bills (gas and electric).
• Information and applications are available by calling one of the following NECAC Service Centers in the Hannibal area for assistance.
• Lewis County: 408 S. Fourth in Canton — 573-288-3969
• Lincoln County: 11 Woodcrest Dr. in Troy — 636-528-7604
• Macon County: 907 Highway PP in Macon — 660-385-4616
• Marion County: 3518 Palmyra Road in Hannibal — 573-221-7166
• Monroe County: 314 N. Washington in Paris — 660-327-4110
• Montgomery County: 137 Farnen in Montgomery City — 573-564-3606
• Pike County: 805 Bus. Hwy. 61 North in Bowling Green — 573-324-2207
• Ralls County: 411 Main in New London — 573-985-2411
• Randolph County: 1903 N. Morley Suite B in Moberly — 660-263- 6595
• Shelby County: 204 E. Third in Shelbyville — 573-633-2210
• St. Charles County: 3400 Meadow Pointe Drive in O'Fallon — 636-272-3477
• Warren County: 120 E. Main in Warrenton — 636-456-8191
Information is also available by calling NECAC Community Services Programs at 573-324-6633.