CCSCT releases Utility Assistance Applications for 2022
(Seguin) – The CCSCT is announcing more funds to help individuals and families with their utility bills. The Community Council of South-Central Texas is announcing funding for the Comprehensive Energy Assistant Program provided by the Texas Department and Housing and Community Affairs.
The program is designed to combine education and financial assistance to help low-income consumers reduce their utility bills.
CCSCT Coordinator Becky McHaney, says the applications are now available to help households with electric, natural gas, and propane.
“We do help Guadalupe County residents with their electric bills, and we can also help them with their gas bills. Depending on how much their allocation is, we can’t go over their allocation but if its electric, we help them for 12 months. Then, if they still have some allocation left, then we can help them with their gas,” said McHaney.
McHaney says the additional funds are an added bonus as families can now be assisted with more than one bill.
“It was either or but now, we can do both. So before, we couldn’t do both electric and gas at the same time,” said McHaney.
According to the CCSCT, it assigns priority to households with the least amount of income and the greatest energy costs. Priority is also given to vulnerable individuals 60 years and over, persons with disabilities and families with children five years of age or under. They say eligible families may qualify for assistance up to $2,400. Non-vulnerable population households will receive up to six monthly payments; while vulnerable population households may receive up to 12 monthly payments over a program year. In addition, households may qualify for HVAC appliance heating and cooling repairs for up to $7,500.
McHaney says those needing assistance should stop by the local office and submit their application as soon as possible. CCSCT officials say the volume of applications is high and the turnaround is taking a bit longer than normal, but they hope that clients exercise patience so that they can receive the available help.
“They have a need so then they come to our office and pick up an application. We have applications outside of our door Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. So, once they pick up that application, then they’ll fill it out and they’ll have to get all the necessary documents that they need which is stated on the application. When they get all that together, they can come to our office Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and then on Friday, we only have our drop box available. No one can come in the office. Once the application is turned in with all of the necessary documents, then we will process the application and once we are able to process the application, then that’s when we’ll determine how many months they qualify for and then we send them a letter of notice of eligibility and let them know that this is what we are going to help them with and then every month on the first of the month, we send a voucher to the electric company and it gets applied to their account,” said McHaney.
McHaney says times have no doubt been challenging. She says locally, more families who normally don’t need help are finding themselves needing the assistance.
“We are here to help. We are not here to judge anybody. We are here to help. If you need assistance, come down here pick up an application and fill it out. We will try our best to help you. If we can’t help you with our programs, we will try to give you resources to other programs to help you. That’s what we are here for. We are here to help the residents of Guadalupe County,” said McHaney.
The CCSCT is a non-profit community action agency that empowers vulnerable families and individuals in the greater South Central Texas area to achieve self-sufficiency by eliminating barriers through innovative programs and strong community partnerships. The funds are being made available to assist qualified families in the following counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, LaSalle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Wilson, and Zavala.
The local CCSCT office is located at 205 N. King St.