If you are lucky enough to get help from the Home Efficiency Assistance Program, you might not be out of the woods. The program is designed to help people through tough times. Once approved, it takes six to eight weeks to receive the benefits. The county will contact MID to confirm you are to receive assistance. But MID will not wait, even on the promise from a county program. MID will shut off your power, even though you have assistance coming. In that scenario, if you get a shut-off notice, MID will not work with you to make payment arrangements; it will not extend your deadline. It undermines the intent of the program.
By not working with HEAP, MID makes it harder on people who are the most vulnerable. People who, with assistance, could otherwise bring their accounts up to date. Shame on MID. It should be working with the community, not against them.
Rick Lowe, Modesto