How to keep the heat on

A heat lamp warms Joyce Hines' living room.

A heat lamp warms Joyce Hines’ living room.

It’s been a hard winter for Joyce Hines‘ house on Tarwater Avenue.

The heating system went out. The pipes burst; flooding the basement. When she plugged in space heaters to keep the top floor warm, her monthly electrical bill totaled about $700. She needed a new heating system — badly. She spent the first part of the new year waiting for a call back from an insurance company. She said she couldn’t afford to stress over it.

“I already have my health problems, I’m not going to make myself sick worrying,” said Hines, 83.

The cost of heat is a hurdle for many Alaskans.

The Alaska Affordable Heating Program, which provides grant assistance to eligible Alaskans through the Department of Health and Social Services, processed 14,775 applications and approved 12,340 grants last year. Over the last three years, the program has received an average of 15,600 applications annually, according to numbers provided by DHSS.

The program is open through April 30, and you can find more information here.

There’s also a free weatherization program that offers energy savings through building efficiencies. Click here to learn more and apply.



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