Energy Assistance

The Eblen Energy Project – has delivered hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil, natural gas, and assisted with electric bills to families in our community who are in need of help.  In partnership with Buncombe County Department of Social Services, Haywood Electric Membership Corporation, Biltmore Oil Company, and in cooperation with other oil distributors, Duke Energy and Public Service Gas Company, the Eblen Energy Project provides much needed assistance to families in need throughout the year.  By providing heating and utility assistance Eblen Charities helps ensure that our neighbors are not left out in the cold.

Emergency Assistance (EA) -  In partnership with Buncombe County Health and Human Services, Emergency Assistance offers temporary financial assistance for families in financial crisis due to unusual circumstances.  EA helps to pay past due power, gas, water, rent, mortgage, or oil.  Rent deposits for those who are currently homeless, or electric deposits for those living in a home without electricity.  Applicant must have a child in the home under age 18 and be the primary parent, guardian or caregiver. 

Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) -  In partnership with Buncombe County Health and Human Services, CIP provides assistance to eligible households that are in a heating related emergencies.  The goal of the CIP program is to help families stay warm in the winter.  Benefits may vary based upon the amount needed to alleviate the crisis.  An eligible household may receive assistance more than one time during the State Fiscal Year (July through June).  The maximum allowed benefit amount can be up to $600 per application, per crisis situation; however, benefits cannot exceed $600 per State fiscal year.  All payments are made directly to the vendor.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) -  Provides a one-time payment to the primary heat source vendor to help eligible low income families pay their heating bills.  Applications will start to be taken in December for certain groups of families such as the elderly (age 60 and up) or disabled (must meet certain eligibility requirements).  Applications for all others will be taken starting in January.

Energy Neighbor (EN) – The Energy Neighbor Fund is an assistance program for Duke Energy customers in need, helping low-income individuals and families cover home energy bills regardless of their heating source.  Funds can be used for power, gas, oil or wood, for a Duke Energy customer,  and must provide a copy of the Duke Energy bill with the application.  Past due power and gas bills must be within 5 days of disconnect, oil tank must have six inches or less.

Helping Each Member Cope (HEMC) – Working with Haywood Electric Membership Corporation to assist families or individuals experiencing hardships paying energy costs brought about by extreme weather conditions, decrease in household income, or who are experiencing unusual and/or unexpected crises beyond their control.  HEMC funds helps pay for past due power bills or deposits with Haywood EMC or oil.  Past due power bills must be within five days of disconnection and oil tanks must have six inches or less.  If client is requesting oil, they must provide a copy of the HEMC power bill for the application.

FEMA/EFS – Helps provide payments for rent ($300 max. or one month), mortgage ($300 max. on principle and interest only), lights, gas ($300 max. or one metered month), or water ($300 max. or one month water consumption, no sewer) for Buncombe County residents.  FEMA/EFS cannot pay Deposits, Late Fee’s or Taxes.  Clients must provide a copy of the past due bill and be within 5 days of disconnect or eviction.  There is no income or reserve limit for this program.

To apply for each program: 

  • Must be a resident of Buncombe County
  • Verification of income for all household members
  • Social Security cards for all household members
  • Picture ID 
  • If utility bill is not in applicant’s name, and person on the bill is not a household resident, client must provide a signed letter from account holder stating person applying is responsible for the bill
  • Reserves at or below $2,250
  • Must have at least one U.S. citizen or noncitizen who meets the eligibility criteria

Income limits vary by program and household size. See the NC Division of Social Work Services income guidelines for details.