Grant Funding Ends December 31, 2022, With Renter Assistance Payment Amounts Cut as of October 1
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont electric utilities are alerting renters who are already receiving help through the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) that their payments will be reduced as of October 1, 2022, and no payments will be available past December 31, 2022. Eligible renters who have not yet taken action need to apply now if they are struggling to pay existing and past bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal grant program has been critical to directly helping renters get through the lingering impacts of the pandemic.
The state has announced the last day to apply for assistance through VERAP is currently set for December 31, 2022, and any eligible amounts will only be covered for bills through the end of the year. In addition, on October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced from 100% to 70% for all VERAP participants including existing renters and new applicants.
Rental customers who have past due balances and have not already applied are encouraged to apply right now through VERAP at https://erap.vsha.org/ or (833) 488-3727. Any customer should also reach out to their utility directly to set up a payment plan. Contact information is available at each of the utilities’ websites:
– Vermont Electric Co-Op, www.vermontelectric.coop
– Washington Electric Co-Op, www.washingtonelectric.coop
– Burlington Electric Department, www.burlingtonelectric.com
– Green Mountain Power, www.greenmountainpower.com
– Stowe Electric, www.stoweelectric.com
– Customers of Barton Electric Department, Enosburg Falls Electric Department, Hardwick Electric Department, Jacksonville Electric Company, Johnson Water & Light Department, Ludlow Electric Light Department, Lyndonville Electric Department, Morrisville Water & Light, Northfield Electric Department, Orleans Electric Department, and Swanton Village Electric can visit www.vppsa.com for utility contact information.
Vermont electric utilities have been working proactively to help customers throughout the pandemic. Any customer needing help should reach out as soon as possible to access available assistance. A program for homeowners, the Vermont Homeowners Assistance Program (https://vermonthap.vhfa.org/) currently remains open.
GMP and BED also have ongoing Energy Assistance Programs (EAP) for qualified low-income customers. GMP customers with past due balances can apply through the Department for Children and Families at https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/eap/. BED’s Energy Assistance Program offers assistance to income-qualified customers in the form of a monthly bill credit of 12.5 percent, and customers can learn more at https://burlingtonelectric.com/assistance.