Beat the heat his summer with a free air conditioner that is being made available to more New Yorkers this year.

$15 million is available through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to help low-income individuals and families who need air conditioning to stay cool during the summer months. And more people will be able to get help after Governor Kathy Hochul expanded eligibility requirements.

"For too many New Yorkers, relief from the stifling heat that summer brings each year is prohibitively expensive," Governor Hochul said. "By expanding the eligibility guidelines for cooling assistance, we can help ensure that more low-income and disadvantaged households have the means to stay comfortable and safe when temperatures inevitably rise."

Girl suffering a heatstroke refreshing with a fan
Photo Credit - AntonioGuillem/Think Stock

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a free air conditioner a household of four can earn up to $62,983 a year, or $5,249 a month. For the first time, someone in the household won't have to be suffering from a medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat to qualify.

The program covers not only the cost of an air conditioning unit but for the installation as well.

Oneida/Madison/Herkimer County HEAP Contacts

Oneida County Department of Social Services
Phone: (315) 798-5559 or (315) 356-2840 in Rome

Oneida County Office for the Aging
Phone: (315) 798-5456

Mohawk Valley Community Action
Phone: 315-624-9930

Madison County Department of Social Services
Phone: (315) 366-2211

Madison County Office for the Aging
Phone: (315) 697-5700

Herkimer County Department of Social Services
Phone: (315) 867-1220

Herkimer County Department of Aging
Phone: (315) 867-1195

Emergency HEAP

Emergency HEAP benefits are also bring provided to households experiencing a crisis or life-threatening heat or heat-related energy emergency.

Statewide demand for HEAP remains high. So far this season, nearly 1.5 million regular benefits were received by low to moderate-income households, and nearly 63,000 emergency benefits were also issued to these households.

Applications for cooling assistance are being accepted at local departments of social services until August 31, or until funding runs out and it's on a first-come, first-served basis.

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