ROCKVILLE CENTRE - As temperatures plummet and heating bills start to tick upward, United Way of Long Island has activated its Emergency Fuel Fund to help residents pay their bills.

The nonprofit's Project Warmth is designed to help residents who are unable to pay their heating bill or are close to running out of oil. Each year, the organization says it helps about 1,200 families struggling to keep their homes heated due to mounting utility bills. It started in 1994.

For those who qualify, Project Warmth can pay up to $400 toward an oil or gas bill and up to $150 toward the electric bill.

Theresa Regnante, of United Way, says the program can only run through Feb. 15. They eventually have to turn families away due to the high volume of applications.