REAL Services assists low-income households with electric and heating expenses during the winter months with funding provided through federal and state government.

To be eligible for the state-funded Energy Assistance Program (EAP), households must be within 60% of the state median income for households with up to 8 members, and 150% of the poverty guidelines for households with 9 or more members. Benefits depend on household size, income, utility cost, and fuel type.

REAL Services, Inc. administers the Energy Assistance Program in Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties. Those interested in the program must submit an application to determine their eligibility. Households with disconnect notices or disconnected utilities should not use the mail-in application, but call to set up office appointments to ensure that utility companies will be notified immediately upon approval.

2020-2021 Eligibility, Instructions, and Resources

Interested households may submit an application starting September 14th, 2020. Please note that the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) start date is November 1, 2020 and EAP is unable to send notifications to the utility companies until the start date.

Households with disconnected utilities should not use the mail-in application, but rather call our office at 574-232-6501 after October 1, 2020 to set up office appointments to ensure that utility companies will be notified immediately upon approval.

Households with disconnect notices should submit the mail-in application with a clear note that there is a disconnect notice in place. Please note that EAP is unable to notify utility companies of benefits until after November 1, 2020 and you must make other arrangements for disconnect notices before that date.

In order to make the application process easier, mail-in applications are available for all households without disconnected utilities. A link to the application and other documents is available in the downloads section, or you may call our office at 574-232-6501 or toll-free 800-225-3367 to request an application.

Applications may be submitted via fax to 574-236-4891 or emailed to eapapps@realservices.org

Application Instructions

  • Eligibility is based on the previous three months of income.
  • Households with electric and/or heating utilities included in their rent may qualify for an EAP benefit. The household must submit a full application with required documents, and meet the EAP income guidelines. A household with utilities included in their rent must pay a minimum of $1.00 rent and must submit a landlord affidavit.
  • Households with electric and/or heating utility in a non-household member’s name may still qualify for an EAP benefit. Please complete and return a Utility Affidavit.

The following information must be submitted with the application—either mail-in or office appointment—for all household members. Please send copies, as originals may not be returned.

  1. Copies of Social Security Cards
  2. Copies of ID’s
  3. Proof of income for all household members 18 years and older. This includes all of the following types of income: wages, military pay, odd jobs, self-employment income, Social Security (also submit if receiving for a minor), SSI (also submit if receiving for a minor), VA benefits and other pension, Workman’s Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, strike benefits, severance pay, dividends and interest on savings accounts and CD’s, rental income, royalties, income from estates and trust funds, annuities, insurance benefits, and gaming winnings of over $400.
  4. Recent copies of electric and heating bills. (If bills are in the landlord’s name or included in the rent, a landlord affidavit must be submitted.)
  5. Landlord affidavit or copy of signed lease (less than 24 months old) if either/both utilities are included in rent.

When the application is approved the utility companies will be notified and a credit given to that account, or fuel will be delivered. This is a one-time credit—not a monthly payment.

Energy Assistance cannot be used for deposit money or old bills.

In order to make the application process easier, mail-in applications are available for households without disconnect notices or disconnected utilities. A link to the application and other documents is available in the downloads section, or you may call our office at 574-232-6501 or toll-free 800-225-3367 to request an application.

The Energy Assistance Program reserves the right to request additional information as necessary.