Residents struggling to pay their historically expensive winter gas bills can now apply to receive a one-time $100 credit to ease the burden.

The $575,000 new gas bill assistance program was approved by the Long Beach Utilities Commission Thursday and comes on the heels of a broader $7.5 million program that was approved last week to help low-income households, seniors and those with disabilities or medical conditions pay less for natural gas.

To be eligible for the one-time $100 credit, applicants cannot already be receiving assistance through those programs and must certify, “under penalty of perjury,” that their financial situation has been made difficult by higher-than-average gas bills.

The application can be found online and requires the primary accountholder to provide no more than their name, account number, address and a signature attesting that they are experiencing financial hardship.

Lauren Howland, a spokesperson for the department, told the Post that the department does not plan to audit individual customers but adding the threat of penalty of perjury to the forms customers would have to sign “would add a bit more seriousness” to the process.

The funds will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis to up to 5,750 households.

All households, regardless of financial hardship, are expected to receive a one-time $45 bill credit as soon as their next billing cycle as part of the overall relief program that was approved last week. These assistance programs are motivated by spike in natural gas prices, which increased by nearly 500% in January compared to what customers were charged in November. Residents shut off their heat and stretched their income more than usual to cope with the expensive bills.

Other one-time credits include $200 for low-income seniors and those with disabilities who are signed up for the department’s assistance program by March 31 and $150 for low-income households who register for the program.

Funding for these programs comes from $1.5 million in utility users’ tax revenue, a tax charged to Long Beach customers for using water, electricity, landline telephones and natural gas, which increases as the price charged to customers goes up, as well as another $6 million of greenhouse gas reduction taxes, also charged to gas customers.

The utility users’ tax money would otherwise go to the city’s general fund, while the greenhouse gas reduction gases would otherwise be used to help the city reduce those emissions.

After filling out the online application, customers can email the form to [email protected] or send it by mail to:

Long Beach Utilities Building, 2400 E. Spring St. Long Beach, CA 90806.