If you need help paying your electric bill in Delaware, assistance is available through the state, utility providers and nonprofit organizations. Programs are designed to prevent a utility disconnection and restore services that have already been shut-off.
Delaware Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) helps low-income families with energy costs during the winter and summer seasons. In Delaware, the Division of State Service Centers administers the program through the nonprofit organization Catholic Charities. The household income can't exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify. There are several components to the program, including:
- Fuel Assistance helps pay for home heating, which includes electric, natural gas, propane, kerosene, coal and wood during Oct 1 through March 31.
- Crisis Assistance helps households experiencing a crisis during the winter months, such as having services disconnected due to non-payment. The benefit can be in addition to fuel assistance.
- Summer Cooling Assistance Program is available from June to August. The program helps pay for electricity to keep homes cool. Some households may also receive a room-sized air conditioning unit through the program.
Contact Catholic Charities to apply for the program:
- Kent County: 302-674-1782
- New Castle County: 302-654-9295
- Sussex County: 302-856-6310
The state offers an Emergency Assistance program to help with basic needs, including utility bills. The goal is to help alleviate a crisis or emergency due to unforeseen circumstances or a hardship. You must receive or be eligible to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Medicaid. Contact a State Service Center in your county to learn more about Emergency Assistance.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army teams up with state utility providers to help needy families and individuals in Delaware. Many of the people who receive assistance from the Salvation Army have exhausted all other options. The three programs in Delaware designed to help households with utility bills include:
- Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a collaborative program between Delmarva Power and the Salvation Army. Funding comes from Delmarva Power and its gas or electric customers that elect to help their neighbors in need.
- Operation Share is available to Kent and Sussex County Delaware Electric Cooperative customers. Assistance is available once a year to customers who have received a utility disconnection notice.
- New Castle Cares Fund is open to Municipal Services Commission electric customers in the city of New Castle. Private funding is used to help people with a low-income, the elderly and the disabled.
Call 302-472-0750 for crisis financial assistance through the Salvation Army.
To qualify for help through the Salvation Army, you must be ineligible for utility assistance from public or private sources. If a household member receives TANF, SSI, GA or Medicaid, you must apply for the Emergency Assistance program first.