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

$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.

"The cooling assistance program is a vital lifeline for countless New York families who often face prohibitively expensive cooling costs when temperatures inevitably rise," Governor Hochul said. "As temperatures rise across the state, we are committed to ensuring that low-income and disadvantaged households have the means to stay safe, comfortable, and cool in their own homes."

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 $65,829 a year, or $5,485 a month.

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 Department of Social Services
Phone: (315) 798-5559

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

Medical Conditions Prioritized

For the first time, cooling assistance eligibility was expanded last year. Medical requirements were dropped and more than 23,500 households received assistance. This year, eligibility requirements were adjusted again to prioritize anyone with a medical condition exacerbated by heat, young children, or older adults.

Applications for cooling assistance are being accepted at local departments of social services starting Monday, May 1, through August 31, or until funding runs out. It's on a first-come, first-served basis.

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