Need help with your New Mexico utilities? If you can’t afford your utility bills, there are programs that can help you cover those costs. From government programs like LIHEAP to local charities that can cut you a check, you’ve got a lot of options.
In this article, we’re going to review all the different programs that can help you pay your utility bills in New Mexico.
Government Programs that Pay New Mexico Utilities
There are many government programs that can help you pay for your New Mexico utilities. From LIHEAP to the Weatherization Program, you don’t want to miss out on any of these!
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps people pay their heating and cooling bills. They can help you with one payment per year.
In order to be eligible for this program, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be a New Mexico resident.
- You must be responsible to pay for your heating or cooling bills.
- You need to have an income that is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Applying is easy! You can use the YesNM Portal, which is the same website that you can use to apply for Medicaid, SNAP or TANF.
If you need help with your water bills, the LIHWAP program may be able to assist you. This is a temporary program that can provide up to $1,500 toward your past-due water balances, late fees or reconnection fees.
In order to be eligible for LIHWAP, you must:
- You must be a New Mexico resident.
- You must be responsible for paying your water bill.
- You must have an income that is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
You can apply for this program online using the YesNM Portal as well!
Weatherization Assistance Program
You may be eligible for free home modifications and energy-saving upgrades through the Energy$mart Weatherization Assistance Program! This program can helps people save around $250 on their utility expenses every year on average.
In order to be eligible for this program, you must have an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level for your household size. The program prioritizes people who are at least 60 years old, disabled, have children or have abnormally high energy usage.
To apply, you will need to contact one of these service providers:
- Central New Mexico Housing Corporation in Albuquerque serves Northern New Mexico.
- Southwestern Regional Housing & Community Development Corporation in Las Cruces serves Southern New Mexico.
- Multifamily Building Weatherization in Lakewood serves multifamily buildings, like apartments.
When you contact the organization, you will need to ask about the Weatherization Assistance Program. There is usually a waitlist so it’s important to apply as soon as possible so that you can get help sooner.
Sometimes, your local city or county government has funds that can be used to help pay your New Mexico utilities. This isn’t a guarantee but it’s something I always recommend checking into.
For example, Albuquerque has a Special Rent & Utility Assistance Program that can help you pay for your shelter or utilities. You will need to have proof of your past-due payment, as well as proof of address and a valid ID. You will need to meet at least two of their four requirements, which include having an income below 80% of the Area Median Income, a loss of income, a disability or medical condition, or another extenuating circumstance.
New Mexico Utilities Assistance Programs
Your utility provider may have programs that can help you as well! These unknown or little-advertised programs can make a big difference!
For example, most power companies offer a budget billing plan. These plans will help you pay a consistent amount every month. They do this by adding up all of your annual usage and dividing it over 12 months to calculate your monthly payment. This can help low-income customers maintain a budget and avert payment problems, especially during the more expensive seasons.
Some companies even offer free energy-efficiency improvements (including free LED light bulbs!) and moratoriums that prevent your power from being shut off during the winter.
We’re doing our best to research utility companies all over New Mexico to uncover all their secret money-saving programs. Here’s what we’ve found so far:
Churches & Charities
If you’re in an emergency situation and you need help paying your New Mexico utilities right now, consider contacting one of the agencies on this list. They may be able to help you pay your past-due balance and avoid disconnection!
Although each one of these organizations sets their own eligibility criteria and assistance limits, you will usually need to have a past-due bill or a disconnection notice in order to receive assistance.
Community Action Council
Your local Community Action Agency is a great resource for finding additional help with your New Mexico utilities. They can often help you apply for LIHEAP and LIHWAP. They may also be able to point you in the direction of other assistance programs that our research team isn’t aware of.
There are six different Community Action Agencies in New Mexico. The one you need to contact will depend on where you live.
|Agency Name||Counties Served|
|Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico||Doña Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Sierra|
|Eastern Plains Community Action Agency||Curry, De Baca, Harding, Guadalupe, Quay, Roosevelt, Union|
|Economic Council Helping Others (ECHO)||San Juan|
|HELP New Mexico||Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Doña Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance|
|Mid West New Mexico Community Action Program||Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, Valencia|
|Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation||Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero|
Each Community Action Agency offers different services based on the needs of their local communities. Contact your local agency and see how they can help you today!
ABQ FaithWorks Collaborative
This organization is funded by many churches in the area. They can assist with utilities and other emergency financial assistance needs. They can help with emergency rental assistance, short-term hotel services, gasoline cards, food assistance and so much more.
You will need to contact them at 505-457-1728 or over email to get started.
Catholic Charities locations may also provide assistance with New Mexico utilities. It is not clear how much they offer or how that assistance is coordinated.
However, I have heard that Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico offers assistance with utilities and eviction prevention.
There are many food banks that also offer financial support with New Mexico utilities. These funds may not always be available but it’s worth looking into!
Some of the food banks that have been reported to help with utilities include:
- Rio Grande Food Project in Albuquerque
- EBP Assembly
You can contact them on weekdays. They are open between 9am and 3pm, except on Fridays when they close at noon. You can call them at (575) 257-4381.
Light of Lea County
If you live in Lea County and you’re fighting any form of cancer, you may be able to get financial assistance from Light of Lea County. This organization can also provide assistance with gas, grocery gift cards and more!
The Salvation Army often offers emergency utility assistance for people who find themselves unable to pay their electric bills. Known for their compassionate community services, they can provide one-time financial help to cover your bill when you’re going through a rough patch.
The assistance available may vary by location and funding, so it’s a good idea to contact your local Salvation Army branch to see what they can offer you.
You’ll likely need to show some proof of your financial situation, such as income documents and your utility bill, to receive help. It’s a trusted option to consider when you’re in need.
Self Help Inc.
Self Help Inc. provides emergency assistance to up to 500 families per year. Their grants can help you with basic needs including food, medicine, utilities, rent and more.
In order to receive help from Self Help Inc., you will need to live in an eligible area:
- Los Alamos
- Rio Arriba
- Northern Santa Fe County
In order to apply, you will need to leave a voicemail on their client intake line at 505-662-4666. You can also send a message on their website.
St. Anne’s Santa Fe
St. Anne’s has a Helping Hands Ministry that can help members of their Church pay for utilities, rent, groceries or gasoline. In order to be eligible, you must live within their parish boundaries and be experiencing a financial hardship.
St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide community that assists with basic needs like food, utilities, clothing and other basic expenses. However, these funds are usually distributed by local SVdP-affiliated Churches.
Some of these locations include:
- Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz
- San Juan Catholic Church in Ohkay Wingeh
- St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Pecos
- St. Josephs Catholic Church in Raton
- St. Vincent de Paul in Albuquerque
- St. Vincent de Paul in Silver City
- St. Vincent de Paul in Tucumcari
Storehouse West can help Sandoval County residents with their utilities. They can provide up to $125 toward your Waste Management bill or $100 toward your water bills each year.
Their service also assists with holiday meals, clothing, and other emergency needs. IF you’re a low income resident in Sandoval County, you definitely need to check out their programs!
If you have a past due bill or a disconnect notice, there are many organizations that can help you pay your New Mexico utilities! Whether it’s a trash bill, a power bill, or a water bill, the resources in this list may be able to help you pay those balances. Contact the agencies in this list for help!