If you’re looking for Idaho utility assistance, there are many different programs and organizations that can help you. We’ve found ways that you can get help with your utility deposits, past-due balances, shut-off notices and more!
In this article, we’ll review all the ways that you can get assistance with your Idaho power bill.
Idaho Utility Assistance Programs
There are several federal and state programs that can help you with your electric utilities. If you need help with your water bills, be sure to check out the LIHWAP program as well.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, is available in every county in Idaho. The program provides two types of assistance: seasonal and crisis.
Seasonal heating assistance is available every year on a first-come, first-served basis. The seasonal program provides a one-time payment toward your heating bill. You have to meet income limits in order to qualify and the amount of funding you receive will depend on your location, household size, household income and the amount of your bill.
The seasonal assistance program opens in October for people who are elderly, disabled, or have children under the age of six. Everyone else can apply beginning in November. Since the funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s important to apply as soon as you can after the funds become available.
Crisis assistance provides a one-time payment to help you keep your utilities connected. You can only receive crisis assistance if you have a shut-off notice or if your utilities have already been shut-off. The program aims to help you resolve your crisis within 48 hours of applying.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) can lower your future bills by improving the energy-efficiency of your home. The products and services provided this program are intended to make your home more comfortable in severe weather while also reducing the cost of your utilities.
Through this program, you could receive help repairing or replacing your furnace or other heating systems. You could also receive assistance with insulation, weather stripping, caulking, and other services that will help your home stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
In order to be eligible, you must meet income requirements. You also need to own your own home or have signed, written permission from your landlord. Priority is given to families with children, elderly or disabled family members.
This program receives new funding every year. The funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s important to apply early. To apply, you need to contact your local Community Action Council.
Winter Payment Plan
Utility providers that are regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission may offer a special Winter Payment Plan option for eligible low income customers. This plan helps you keep your utilities connected during the cold winter months by reducing the minimum amount you must pay.
This plan allows you to pay less than the full amount due between November and March. In the spring, you are expected to make payment arrangements to help you catch up on the balance that you owe from the winter. This helps people who are seasonally employed or who have extremely high heating bills in the winter.
In order to be eligible for a Winter Payment Plan, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a residential customer of a regulated gas or electric utility.
- You must be unable to pay in full for your utility service.
- Yor household must include a child (age 18 or under), a senior (age 62 or older), or someone who is “very sick.” Very sick is not defined in the guidelines.
The Winter Payment Plan is calculated by dividing your last 12 months of usage by 12 to calculate your average monthly bill. That amount is divided in half to calculate the amount you will owe under the Winter Payment Plan option.
In order to participate every year, you will need to make sure that you honor your payment arrangement and that you do not owe more than $75 on past-due bills by November 1.
According to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, regulated gas and electric providers cannot shut off service during December, January or February if you have a child (age 18 or under), senior (age 62+) or very sick people in your household and you are unable to pay your bill.
If you are threatened with disconnection during those months, make sure your utility provider knows if you meet the eligibility criteria for the winter moratorium.
Other Idaho Utility Assistance Programs
Angels Over Sandpoint (Bonner County)
Angels Over Sandpoint provides community assistance services, including rent and utilities assistance, emergency shelter, continuing education, and other grant programs. The community grants range from $250 to $2,500 depending on your need and eligibility.
County Veterans Services
Veterans who need Idaho utility assistance can check their local County Veteran Services department for assistance! In many counties, these departments can offer financial assistance with utility bills and other emergency needs.
You will need to contact your county and inquire about the County Veteran Services for more information.
Keep Kids Warm (Treasure Valley)
Treasure Valley residents may be able to receive assistance from Keep Kids Warm. This program gathers coats and financial donations that are used to help low income families in their area keep their heating bills.
According to Intermountain Gas, it appears that this program is managed by the ELADA and WICAP Community Action Partnerships in Treasure Valley.
Mustard Seed Ministries (Twin Falls)
Mustard Seed Ministries has a Community Assistance Office that can help you with clothing, food boxes, and emergency financial assistance services. Through their financial services program, they can provide Idaho utility assistance.
North Idaho AIDS Coalition
The North Idaho AIDS Coalition serves low income individuals who have received an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. They can help you with short-term rent, mortgage and utility payments, as well as housing information and placement.
This organization also offers case management services and can help you connect with other supportive services as well.
Project Share is a short-term Idaho utility assistance program that helps people in crisis keep their services connected. This program can help you pay your past-due balance and your utility reconnection fees if your service was disconnected. They may be able to help you with equipment repairs as well According to Idaho Power, this program can provide up to $450 per year toward your utility costs.
In order to get assistance from Project Share, you will need to contact your local Salvation Army or Community Action Council for application instructions.
Project Share does not pay for past-due bills that have been turned over to collections agencies and they cannot assist with utility deposits, either.
Project Warmth is an additional heating bill program that is provided by the EICAP and SEICAA Community Action Councils. This program provides additional Idaho utility assistance that can be added to LIHEAP and other programs you may be eligible for.
St. Vincent de Paul
Other St. Vincent de Paul chapters may be able to assist you with utilities as well. However, these services do tend to vary by location.
West End Ministerial Association (Buhl & Castleford)
The West End Ministerial Association offers emergency assistance with utilities, rent and gas for residents of Buhl and Castleford. The association operates on Tuesday afternoons at the United Methodist Church in Buhl.
Utility Assistance by Provider
We’ve been researching low income programs for more than 10 years. Over the course of our research, we’ve found that many of the best Idaho utility assistance programs are actually provided by the utility companies themselves.
For more information on how you can get help with your bill, please choose your provider from the list below:
If you don’t see your provider in the list below, you will need to contact them directly to find more ways that you can get assistance.
How to Apply for Assistance
The first thing you need to do in order to receive Idaho utility assistance is contact your local Community Action Council. These agencies oversee LIHEAP, weatherization programs, and other benefits that can help you reduce the cost of your bill.
There is a community action provider for every county in Idaho.
|Service Area (Counties)
|Community Action Partnership (CAP)
|Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Shoshone
|South Central Community Action Partnership (SCCAP)
|Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Twin Falls, Lincoln, Minidoka
|Community Council of Idaho (CCI)
|Bingham, Bonneville, Canyon, Cassia, Twin Falls
|Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency (SEICAA)
|Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, Power
|Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (EICAP)
|Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, Teton
|Western Idaho Community Action Partnership (WICAP)
|Adams, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Payette, Valley, Washington
|El-Ada Community Action Partnership
|Ada, Elmore, Owyhee
|Metro Community Services
|Adams, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Payette, Valley, Washington
For the other programs that we’ve included in this list, such as grants from Angels Over Sandpoint, you’ll need to contact the agency directly for application instructions.
Idaho offers a variety of utility bill assistance programs to help residents who are struggling to pay their bills. Programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) offer assistance with energy bills and making homes more energy-efficient. Other companies and organizations offer crisis financial assistance and other programs that can help you keep your utilities connected.