Need utility assistance in Washington? You’re not alone. I’ve been there before – and so have many of our readers.
When we lived in Washington, we were once shocked by a $3,364 power bill from Puget Sound Energy! Fortunately, we knew where to go for help… and we ended up with thousands of dollars in pledges and more than $18,000 in free home improvements!
That’s why I’ve assembled this list. I know that too many people are struggling with high power bills and have no idea where to turn. If you need help with your power bill in Washington State, we’ll show you everything you need to know.
How to Use This List
We’ve found many utility assistance programs across Washington. Some of the best programs come from the utility providers themselves or from some of the local churches and other organizations that help with utility bills.
In order to make this list as useful to you as possible, we will start with some of the large state programs and then move into the specific local resources you can try. When you need help, try them all! When we had our insane $3k power bill, we received pledges from multiple sources.
Statewide Utility Assistance Programs
If you are low income and having a hard time paying your utilities, you may qualify for help from many sources. These are the statewide “first steps” that we recommend to anyone who is looking for utility assistance in WA.
LIHEAP stands for the “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.” This federal program provides funds to help low income Washingtonians afford and maintain their utilities throughout the winter.
LIHEAP will pay a one-time grant directly to your energy provider. If you are eligible, You can get one LIHEAP grant per household per year (Oct – Sept). This program can also assist you if you need help repairing or replacing a cooling or heating system that is broken, misfunctioning, or unsafe to operate.
When we received assistance, we received around $1,000 from this program. The amount you receive will depend on your household size, income, and annual heating costs.
You will need to apply with your local county agency. Click on your area on the map to find your local county’s office.
Families who qualify for LIHEAP may also be eligible for the weatherization program. This program can help to make your home more energy efficient, which can greatly lower your monthly electricity payments. This program doesn’t provide immediate cash assistance, but they can help reduce your future bills!
By improving the energy efficiency of your dwelling, the weatherization program makes it so your home holds heat in the winter and stays cool in the summer all by itself, so that you don’t have to spend so much money on utilities. It really works, too!
Along with our LIHEAP grant, we received around $18,000 in free home improvements that reduced our power bill from $650/month to around $150/month!
In order to qualify in Washington State, your income usually needs to be at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
You can apply for LIHEAP and Weatherization Services at your local county agency.
Community Action Council
In Washington, most counties have a Community Action Council. These organizations help coordinate LIHEAP and Weatherization services, as well as other programs that can help you with housing and food. If you need help because you are dealing with a shut off, this is one of the best places you can start.
Click here to for a list of counties that participate in Washington State’s Community Action Partnership. You can either call them or go to the website of your county’s council to get assistance.
Salvation Army chapters often assist with emergency shelter, food & nutrition services, and emergency financial assistance, including high utility costs. Contact your local Salvation Army to see if they offer utility assistance.
St. Vincent de Paul
In most areas, St. Vincent de Paul will also assist with emergency utility assistance in WA. However, you are typically required to meet income requirements and provide a shut-off notice.
Note: It may take a little while for the program to get to everyone who applies, so if you are facing a utility emergency, please contact your local St. Vincent de Paul right away to reserve your spot for assistance.
Washington State has laws regarding utility disconnections. If your utility provider does not follow them, you may be able to follow up with Legal Aid for assistance. We’ve found a list of free and low-cost legal services in Washington State.
Local Utility Assistance in WA
As usual, the best discounts and money-saving secrets are specific to your local area. We’ve found that many utility providers in Washington State offer discounts, free stuff (like appliances) and more. We’ve also found many programs that can assist with power bills.
To see what’s available near you, please find your energy provider in the list below.
Avista has many programs to help low income customers. In addition to standard payment arrangements and budget billing plans, they also offer these programs:
- Discounts for low-income residents, seniors (age 60 and older), and residents with disabilities who live in Washington State! You can get discounts for electric or natural gas.
- Check out a free kill-a-watt meter from your local library. Companies like Avista have donated kill-a-watt meters to libraries to local residents to use for free.
- You can get discounted furnace filters when you sign up for email reminders as a put of their Furnace Filter Replacement Program! They send reminders and coupons right to your inbox every 3 months.
If you need help with your Avista Utilities bill, try these helpful utility assistance programs!
- Avista CARES provides options for elderly, disabled, or financially-challenged customers. Call them at (800) 277-9187 or email them at [email protected].
- Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) provides assistance to households in Adams, Grant, or Upper Yakima County. They can help with water and electric bills for all 3 counties and can provide rental assistance for Upper Yakima County residents. If you need help, you can give them a call at 509-452-7145. They provide both in-person and remote services.
- Rural Resources serves residents in Northeastern Washington with energy assistance programs. You can apply online or by phone.
- SNAP WA serves Spokane County residents. This organization can help you with energy, water, and shelter assistance, furnace repair, air cooling and purification, Emergency Project Share, Avista Discounts, and U-Help. If you think you may fall behind on your payments, you can make an energy appointment on the third Tuesday of every month by calling 509-242-3276 or visiting their website.
Benton PUD customers can also get utility assistance in WA! This provider offers many helpful discounts and programs, include payment arrangements and budget billing.
Discounts and assistance are available for customers who qualify for Benton’s Assistance Program. There are emergency services available, as well as monthly discounts for seniors, the disabled, and veterans who qualify.
Customers who can qualify for monthly assistance are the following:
- Low income seniors: Must be 62 years old or older and have a household max income that is 225% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Low income disabled customers: The applicant or a household member must have a qualifying disability and have a household max that is 255% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Low income veteran and active military: May get a 10%, 15%, or 25% monthly discount or daily system charge wavier, depending on whichever is greater. This is based on your entire annual income and veteran or active duty status. Veteran or active duty member must live at the location.
All customers who qualify can get up to 25% off their monthly bills are available! The discounts are 10%, 15%, or 25%, depending on your entire household income. You must have an income that is a max that is 225% of the Federal Poverty Level.
You can also get additional assistance with your Benton PUD bill from organizations in your local community.
Benton PUD with the help of Helping Hands provides between $125 and $225 toward your power bill, depending on your income. These funds are disbursed by Community Action Committee (CAC). You can qualify for this assistance in the following ways:
- Have a sudden crisis or emergency expenses.
- Unexpected daily costs that cause on-going hardship.
- Average household income reduced by 25%.
- Rent increased by 25%.
- Received a 3 or 5 pay notice or an eviction notice.
- Past due on mortgage payments or facing foreclosure.
The Veterans Assistance Fund can also assist with power bills. They can provide up to $1,328 toward your needs. For contact information, check this flyer. The following customers qualify for Veterans Assistance Fund:
- Benton County veterans.
- Families of Benton County veterans.
- The families of honorably discharged veterans who are deceased.
Click here for other ways to save on your monthly bill.
Centralia City Light
Centralia City Light customers can also save money on their power bills with help from their provider.
Senior, disabled, and low income customers with the following criteria may be able to get help:
- Seniors 62 years old or older and live in a single family home with a separate meter.
- Completely disabled and live in a single family home with a separate meter.
- The gross income for your household is $30,000 per year (from Jan 1st to Dec 31st).
If you qualify, you can get the standard customer charge for your electric bill removed from your bill. As of 2022, the customer service charge is $24.39 inside city limits or $26.79 outside city limits.
Customers who qualify can also get their monthly sewer user charge reduced, as well as their monthly meter charge for their water bill.
If you need help with your Centralia City Light bill, there are community agencies that can help.
- Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties can help you access LIHEAP funds, Weatherization services and more!
Clallam County PUD
We’ve found ways that you can save money on your Clallam County PUD bills! The PUD can allow you to postpone your due date. So, if you have a financial surprise and you think that you may be late on your monthly payment, contact the PUB as soon as you can to make arrangements to pay later.
Note: If you don’t pay on the arranged due date, Clallam County PUD reserves the right to disconnect your service, so be honest with them about when you think you can pay.
The PUD also provides customer support services for people financially affected by Covid-19. Click here to learn more about how they can help you.
The PUD also offers some of the following helpful options you can use to save:
- By the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), Clallam PUD is working with Olympic Community Action to assist low income customers with their bills through the LIHEAP program.
- Deposit waivers for customers with a good credit score or good payment history on a prior PUD account.
- Budget Payment Plans that help you pay a consistent amount every month by spreading out the cost of your higher bills.
- Watt Detectors that can be checked out from the North Olympic Library System
- Neighborly Assistance is a help fund that is gathered by Clallam County PUD through donations.
You can also get help with your power bill from local community agencies.
- Clallam County Veterans Resource Center can provide help with utility costs for eligible veterans (Must have a max household income of 150% or higher and must have a discharge status of general under honorable or honorable status). According to the resource center, they can provide eligible veterans with up to $1,800 per year with no lifetime limit. I also confirmed that the office is now open from 9 am to 3 pm, so give them a call at 360-797-1791.
- OlyCAP can help you with LIHEAP funds, weatherization, and other services, including “Pass-the-Buck” funds for Port Angeles residents and Rate Ppayer donations. Pass-the-Buck can help with up to $150 if you have received a shut-off notice or if you need assistance with a deposit. You must have an appointment to receive service, so schedule online as soon as possible.
- Serenity House has a few programs that can assist with utility costs, such as utility deposits, especially for customers suffering from mental health issues and addiction issues.
- Sequim Information and Assistance can help seniors who are at least 60 years old with their utility bills. However, this is a payer of last resort, and therefore you must have exhausted all other options first.
- Tribal assistance programs are also available for tribal members who are living away from the tribal center.
For tribal customers who have applied for LIHEAP assistance through your tribal office, you can also apply to get a PUD discount through OlyCAP if you have these documents:
- PUD Discount LIHEAP Application.
- All of the documents on this checklist.
- This Statement of Contingency document.
Clark Public Utilities
This organization, as a partner with other local organizations, can help you with the following energy fuels:
- Natural Gas
Customer Services Reps are available 24/7, and they encourage you not to wait until you are in a financial crisis before getting them a call. Here are some of the programs Clark Public Utilities offers its customers:
- Guarantee of Service Plan (GOSP) helps people who are behind on their utilities keep their power on. Through this program, Clark Public Utilities will help you determine the maximum monthly amount you can pay based on your income. You won’t be charged late fees, and any remaining balance at the end of the program will be forgiven.
- Senior credits can help you offset your bill. This is available for low income seniors if they are 62 years old or higher, have lived in Clark county for a year, and get less than 34.840 a year in income. If you qualify, you can receive a credit for a percentage of last year’s bills (up to $500 a year)! You can call 24/7 at 360-992-3000.
- Operation Warm Heart offers income-based financial assistance to eligible customers who cannot afford their utility bills. If you do not qualify for some of the other energy programs, contact Clark Public Utilities at 360-992-3000 to see if you can get help through this one. They will give you more information.
- Weatherization loans can help you improve the weatherization in your home and thereby reduce your monthly utility costs.
- The Home Energy Assistance Program is LIHEAP. Clark can help you set up an appointment to see if you qualify. If you do, they can help you apply. Call 1-855-353-4328 to set up your appointment.
Click here to learn about reducing your energy waste at home, which can save you lots of money on your bill!
Cowlitz County PUD
Cowlitz County PUD offers many assistance programs for their low income customers!
- Discounted rates for low income seniors and disabled customers are available! You must be at least 62 years old or disabled to qualify. Enrollment for the program now runs year-round. You can get a discount of 15% or 25% depending on your family size and household income.
- Free home energy audits can help you identify why your bills are so high and how you can save money every month! They provide rebates and weatherization assistance programs on items that can make your home more energy efficient. They will even help you find a contractor.
- Warm Neighbor Emergency Assistance funds are available for low income customers who are unable to pay their bills. They will pay up to $300 on your balance to avoid disconnection. You can only use this source once every 12 months unless the state declares an emergency. Unfortunately, you can’t use this for deposits.
You can also get help from community organizations, including:
- Lower Columbia Community Action Council offers help with utility costs, as well as housing and transportation. If you are having trouble paying your energy bill, you can sign up for LIHEAP to get help with your energy bills and the weatherization of your house.
Grays Harbor PUD
Grays Harbor PUD offers helpful programs for low income customers who need help with their utilities:
- Senior discounts are available for customers who are at least age 62 and meet the maximum income requirements. The bill must be in your name or included in your rent. You may not qualify if you live in federally subsidized housing.
- Disability discounts are available for low income customers who meet the maximum household income requirements, as well as the requirements for a disability under the Social Security Act or receive L&I Pension. You can not qualify for this program if you live in federally subsidized housing. The bill must be in your name or included in your rent.
You may also be able to get help from community organizations that offer energy assistance in WA.
- Coastal Community Action Program can help you obtain LIHEAP, Weatherization Services, and funds from Project HELP. Project HELP gathers donations on monthly Grays Harbor PUD bills., 100% of the money is used to help other customers who can’t afford their bills. If you need assistance, you can call 360-533-5100 on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.
If you need help with your Jefferson PUD bill, we’ve found help! Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the PUD has been working to prevent its customers from getting shut off. If you have a past due balance of $75 or higher, contact customer service at 360-385-5800 ASAP to make a payment arrangement or sign up for a payment assistance program. They are open from 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Low Income Rate Reduction Program provides a $44.84 per month bill credit for electric customers that meet the low income requirements. Customers who qualify can also receive a $15.44 credit on water charges and a 30% discount on sewer charges. To qualify, your yearly household income can not be more than 150% of the federal poverty level.
Low Income Seniors Program is available for seniors aged 62 and older. For seniors, their income can be higher than the standard income requirement, but it still has to be lower than the senior program requirement. The yearly household income after permitted deductions should not be more than $30,000.
Click here to apply online for either the standard or senior program.
Seasonal Shutoff Protections can prevent Jefferson PUD from shutting off your utilities between November 15th and March 15th if you meet the requirements. If your bill is more than $75 pasted due, you should call customer service at 360-385-5800 immediately to see if you qualify for this program while you make a payment arrangement. They may not be able to make an arrangement if your account is already disconnected.
The Budget Billing Program can provide customers with a more predictable monthly bill by allowing them to pay the same amount every month. This program averages your bill over 12 months and divides your payments equally so that you only have to pay one price all year. Customers who choose this option can sign up for the rolling average option, which allows your bill to vary every month, depending on usage, but the change is small compared to the normal bill.
You can also get help from these community providers:
- Rainy Day Fund is distributed by OlyCAP and St. Vincent de Paul. This fund may provide up to $500 toward your power bill if you have a shut-off notice. This program relies on customer donations, so call OlyCAP 360-385-2571 or St. Vincent de Paul at 360-379-1325 immediately if you receive a shut off notice.
Inland Power customers can get utility assistance in WA as well! If you need help with your Inland Power bill, try these agencies:
Inland Power customers can get utility assistance in WA as well! If you need help with your Inland Power bill, try these agencies:
Blue Mountain Action Council
The Blue Mountain Action Council helps Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla Garfield Counties. They will help you pay your current heating bills, give you the money to get your power turned back on if it was disconnected, and refer your home for weatherization and repair. They will also give you utility bill discounts and energy-saving tips to help you keep your bill at its lowest. For more information, check out this flyer.
Community Action Center
Community Action Center helps customers in Whitman County. They provide up to $2,500 in assistance for customers who are past due on their water or electric bills. Call them at 509-334-9147 to set up an appointment if you need some help. They are also very active on Facebook.
Community Action Partnership
Community Action Partnership helps those in Astoin County. Families who are eligible can receive benefits that can help you pay your electric, natural gas, wood, oil, or propane costs, and you don’t have to be near disconnection to do it. The amounts you can receive depend on your household income and size, as well as the historical energy usage.
If you have received assistance already but are facing a shut-off, you may be eligible to get more help. If they can’t help you, they may be able to refer you to another organization that can. Click here to fill out the application, then call 800-326-4843 to get instructions on how to submit it.
Opportunities Industrialization Center
The Opportunities Industrialization Center helps households in Adams, Grant, or Upper Yakima County. They provide assistance to households below the federal poverty line. You have to enroll in this program, and enrollment for the winter program usually starts in the Fall. They help to offset your utility burden. Click here to fill out an application.
Rural Resources Rural Resources helps people in Lincoln, Stevens County, Ferry, and Pend Oreille Counties. They can help you with energy assistance, as well as provide low- to no-cost weatherization and energy saving tips that can lower your monthly payments. People eligible for this program are:
- Senior on low and fixed incomes.
- Low income families.
- Disabled individuals.
- Residents who are about to lose their heat source.
- Utility customers that need help.
Spokane Neighborhood Action Program
The Spokane Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) helps customers in Spokane County. This program can help with the following energy needs:
- Furnace Repair
- Air Cooling/Purification
- Emergency Project Share
- Avista Rate Discounts for Seniors and the Disabled
- Asista Arrearage Management
Check out these guidelines to see if you are eligible.
SNAP insists that eligible customers call them for energy assistance before the problem becomes an emergency. You can reach out to them on the third Tuesday of every month to set up an appointment for energy assistance. You can either call them at 509-242-3276 or click here to make an appointment on the website.
Lakeview Light and Power
There are energy assistance programs that can help Lakeview Light and Power customers!
Bridges of Love
Bridges of Love helps with funding for certain needs. You can call their helpline if you have a need. The client manager will interview you to get the details of the need to is if it is specific, manageable, and legitimate. Once that is done, they can refer you to a program in a church or agency that may be able to help.
Bridges of Love have an extensive list of county resources, as well as a broad network of communications with partner churches.
Pierce County Energy Assistance Program (EAP)
The Energy Assistance Program can provide utility assistance for eligible applicants. They can pay your heating bill directly to the company on your behave if you qualify. The payments are based on the household’s income and yearly energy usage.
They ask that you provide a social security card, a photo ID card, and documents to verify your address, as well as your income. To apply, you can call 253-798-4328 or apply online.
If you live within Tacoma’s city limits and you need assistance, you can apply here.
Project Help is a program organized by Lakeview Light and Power. Customers who are able to donate extra funds with their bills to help those who can’t afford their bills. If you qualify for LIHEAP through Pierce County, you will likely also qualify for Project Help.
If you need assistance with your energy bill, you can give them a call at 253-584-6060 or visit their website for more information.
The Salvation Army provides utility assistance programs. If you need some help, you can type in your zip code at the top of the website and find a Salvation Army location near you that provides emergency financial assistance.
There are quite a few of them in Washington, so you can look through the list to find one near you.
Lewis County PUD
Customers of the Lewis County PUD can get utility assistance in WA! With a focus on individuals and families affected by covid-19, this company encourages you to call them at 360-748-9261, so they can help to place you in the right program for your situation.
Deposit waivers are available if you have a recent positive payment history with Lewis County PUD and all applicants have a positive credit report checked by Online Utility Exchange.
Project Share is a program that collects donations from customers to distribute to eligible, low income customers who may have a need. The program usually runs from November 15th to March 31st. You can call 360-736-1800 if you have questions.
Ductless Heat Pumps and Weatherization
Lewis County PUD has a few programs that can help you get a ductless heat pump installed in your home if you need one. They will also help you weatherize your home if you qualify. These programs can help you save energy so you can spend less on your bills.
If you need help with your energy bills, you can schedule an appointment online or call if you are in one of the following counties:
- Thurston County – 360-438-1100
- Lewis County – 360-736-1800
- Mason County – 360-426-9726
Lewis County Veteran’s Relief Fund
The Veterans Relief Fund can provide up to $450 for your utilities, paid directly to the utility company. More details on eligibility and ways to apply can be found on the website.
Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging
Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging provides information for older adults, as well as adults with disabilities and their families. If you need assistance, you can call 888-545-0910.
DSHS-Financial Assistance can help people who are eligible for this program to get benefits, such as food and cash that you can use to help you with utilities.
You can take the quiz to see if you qualify on the website. If you do, you can apply online as well.
Mason County PUD 1
If you need help with your Mason County PUD 1 bill, PUD 1 offers assistance to struggling customers once a year through the Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties. For more help, you can try these resources!
South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency
This agency is designed to help low income families who belong to tribes. You can visit their website or give them a call at 360-426-3990 if you need assistance paying your bills. They ask that you call ahead to make an appointment if you need help.
Mason County PUD 3
Mason County PUD 3 is somewhat more generous than PUD 1 when it comes to helping its low income customers. They offer discounts to eligible low income seniors and customers living with a disability. Here are a few of the assistance programs that you can find on the Mason County PUD 3 website:
The Treasury Rent Assistance Program (TRAP) Grant
The TRAP Grant can help you with past due utilities for families who were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. To qualify, you have to be all of the following:
- Past due on utilities.
- Have increased expenses or have economic hardship due to Covid-19.
- Have an income at or below 80% of the area median income, or AMI.
For adults (aged 25+), you can contact Crossroads Housing by going to their website or giving them a call at 360-472-6919. For youth (ages 12 to 24), you can contact Shelton Youth Connection by visiting their website or calling at 360-462-0125.
Low Income Senior and Disabled Customer Discount
The discount generally amounts to the removal of the system charge, but every little bit helps when you are struggling to make ends meet. To qualify, you need to be the following:
- The account must be in your name.
- Total annual disposable income cannot exceed $40,000.
- The be a year-round customer of PUD 3.
- Cannot live in a federally subsidized housing program.
Seniors must be 61 years old or older and can apply for services here. Disabled customers can visit the Community Action Council or call them at 360-426-9726.Mason County PUD 3 has a few other programs that may be able to help you if you don’t qualify for one of these programs. They highly encourage you to either call them at 360-426-8255 or email them to discuss your options, set up a payment arrangement, and get connected to an agency that may be able to help.
McCleary Light & Power
Although the city doesn’t offer any direct assistance (according to Clerk-Treasurer Wendy Collins), you can still get assistance with your bills from the Coastal Community Action Program. You may also be able to get help from the Salvation Army and the Union Gospel Mission in Aberdeen.
McCleary links to programs like LIHEAP and Rent & Utility Assistance (call: 360-986-0079 or 360-986-0053) that you can contact to connect with a specialist.
Low income Okanogan PUD customers can get help from the Okanogan County CAC. Okanogan PUD low income members can also get help from LIHEAP. These programs combined can help with the following energy resources:
For more information, you can call them at 509-422-4041 or 877-641-1010.
Colville Indian Housing Authority (CIHA)
If you are a tribal member and need some assistance with you utility bills, CIHA may be able to help you as long as they have the funds. Check out this flyer to learn more and see if you qualify.
Pacific Power customers can get utility assistance in a variety of ways. If you don’t think you will be able to pay your bill by the due date, you can call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070 to extend your due date or make a payment arrangement.
State Utility Assistance Resources
Pacific Power works with state resources and the Washington Department of Commerce to help you with your monthly payments. They break down their assistance resources by county, so the number you call will be different depending on the country you are calling from.
Columbia and Garfield Counties — If you live in these counties and need assistance, you can call 509-529-4980 (Ask for Tammi Sele or Claudia Limon for Spanish)
Walla Walla County — Customers who live in this county can also call 509-529-4980 for assistance with their utility bills, but Walla Walla customers should ask for Claudia Limon.
Yakima County — If you are a tenant or a landlord and live in this county, you have access to an online website that can provide helpful resources for you. This includes utility assistance, as well as rental assistance if you qualify. They also have a flyer that can provide contact numbers and help you figure out if you are eligible for the program.
Pacific Power has a nonprofit program called Project HELP that helps to assist low income families with funds donated to the cause. The Salvation Army and Northwest Community Action Center help to make this possible. If you assistance, you can call the contact number that represents your county.
- Grandview customers can call the Salvation Army at 509-882-2584
- Walla Walla residents can call their Salvation Army location at 509-529-9470
- Yakima customers who need assistance can call the Salvation Army at 509-453-3139
- Lower Yakima Valley residents can call Northwest Community Action Center at 509-865-7630.
The Low Income Bill Assistance (LIBA) program and Weatherization services are provided by LIHEAP agencies in your area. LIBA is designed to help eligible households with year-round discounts on their monthly bills. Weatherization service provides free preventative maintenance and upgrades to make your home more energy efficient and lower your bill.
Puget Sound Energy
Because we have so much experience with Puget Sound Energy, we have written an entire separate post about this provider. See how you can save money and get help with Puget Sound Energy here!
Seattle City Light (& Seattle Public Utilities)
Seattle City Light customers may qualify for a 60% discount on their bill if they meet low income limits. You can also save up to 50% off your water, sewer, and solid waste bills from Seattle Public Utilities. Your name must be on the Seattle City Light account to qualify for the program.
They will ask you for government-issued identification and income documentation during the application process. If you are a participant in SNAP, they may also ask for your account number and letter of benefits as well. Seattle also offers many assistance programs for low income customers.
Seattle also offers many assistance programs for low income customers.
The Emergency Bill Assistance Program
This program can help you if you have received an urgent notice, a notice to be shut off, or are $250 or more past due on your bill. They can provide $1000 to you annually with up to $500 on a single bill.
As long as the bill is in your name, you have a shutoff/urgent notice or a past due balance of $250 or more, and you fit the income requirements, you should qualify!
The Federal Energy Assistance Program
The program is a federal program that you can contact if you are having trouble paying your bills. They will help you find payment assistance, as well as provide budget counseling and even weatherization services as long as you meet the income-eligibility needs.
- Customers within the Seattle city limits should contact Byrd Barr Place for federal assistance.
- If you live north of the Seattle city limits, you can contact Hopelink.
- Customers who are south of Seattle (outside the city limits) can get help from Multi-Service Center.
Homewise Weatherization Program
This is a program provided by the Seattle Office of Housing. They provide insulation and heating system repair or replacement to lower your monthly energy costs and improve you overall in-home comfort levels.
Snohomish PUD offers a low income discount that can reduce your PUD electric and water bills by 25-50% as long as you meet the income requirements!
LIHEAP works with Snohomish County residents who need assistance with their utility bills. They can help you with grants ranging from $100 to $1000 depending on your eligibility requirements. Camano Island residents should call the Stanwood Camano Community Resource Center at 360-629-5257 (M-F 9 am to 5 pm).
This is a program that can give you a Grant to help you with your utility costs as long as you qualify per the income guidelines. This is a donation-based program that is administered by St. Vincent de Paul.
This program is free for owners or renters to help with repairs for heating systems, windows, doors, and other places in the home that can let in outside air.
- Snohomish County residents can call 425-388-7205
- Camano Island customers should call the Opportunity Council at 1-800-317-5427.
Energy Smart Loan
If you are a Snohomish County resident, you can be able to qualify for a low-interest loan that you can use to weatherize your house and lower your monthly utility bills. The Energy Smart Loan program is geared toward homeowners in need and you can get up to $50,000 for the project.
Low income Tacoma Power customers have access to some incredible utility assistance in WA!
Emergency Rental Assistance
Emergency Rental Assistance through Pierce County doesn’t just help you with your rent. It can also help you with past due utilities. If you have the following, you could be eligible for help:
- Must be renting, not paying a mortgage.
- Impacted by Covid-19
- Have past due rent or utility bills
- Live in Pierce County (or the City of Tacoma)
- Must meet the federal eligibility requirements (80% AMI). The amount of household income depends on your family size.
Federal Assistance for Renters and Homeowners
This program is through LIHEAP to help you with an immediate need to pay your energy bill. To get help from this program, you don’t need to have a past due balance or a shut-off notice. It is best to call if you think you will be late on your payment.
- Tacoma Residents can either contact the Metropolitan Development Council through the website or call 253-572-5557.
- Pierce County residents outside of Tacoma can get help through the Pierce County Human Services website and call 855-798-4328.
To qualify for help from this program, you need to:
- Be a Washington resident
- Your household must pay your own heating costs either directly or as a part of your rent.
- Have the proper income requirements per the guidelines.
TPU and Environment Services Assistance
This assistance is for renters and homeowners, and they offer two super helpful plans that can help you if you have a limited income; the Discount Rate Program and the Bill Credit Assistance Plan.
The Discount Rate Program
The Discount Rate Program can help you with a 35% discount on your utilities, which include:
- Drinking water
- Solid waste
- Surface water
To qualify for this program, the following have to apply to you:
- Have a current TPU account.
- Live full-time at the house you are seeking help for.
- Be 62 years old or receiving disability income.
- Have a residential, or single metered service not shared by another unit or structure.
- You are a single occupant, head of household, or spouse of the head of household.
- Meet the monthly income guidelines for the program.
Bill Credit Assistance Plan
This program is for eligible low income households who keep their bills current. Every time you pay your energy bill in full and on time, they apply a credit to your utility account. This is an automatic process. You can get up to $672 in credits every year, which counts towards your energy bill.
To qualify for this program, you should:
- Meet the monthly income requirements according to the guideline.
- The TPU account must be in your name.
- You must have a residential, single metered service that is not shared with another unit or structure.
- You must live full-time in the home you are getting the credit for.
If you are having trouble paying your bill by the due date, you are encouraged to make a payment arrangement as soon as you can. You can either go to your MyAccount or call the 24-hour customer service line at 253-502-8608 to make your arrangement.
If you have had service at your residence for at least 12 months, you can get into the budget billing program, which will allow you to pay the same amount every month to make your bill more predictable and, in some cases, lower.
For this service, they calculate your electricity, water, and solid waste bills for the past 12 months and allow you to pay an average payment.
You don’t have to fall into the low income category to qualify for this program. You can just enroll on the MyAccount site.
Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
This program allows you to get a grant (if you meet the income eligibility guidelines) or a loan to make upgrades to your home to make it more energy efficient. This can significantly lower your utility bill. Not only can you get grants and loans for this residential incentives program, but you can also get discounts for in-store purchases and contractors, as well as bill credits.
Winter Protection Plan
If you meet the maximum household income for your house size, you can qualify for the Winter Protection Plan. This program allows you to pay 7% of your monthly income plus 1/12 of any unpaid charges on your electric bill during the winter months. The winter month schedule starts on November 15th and ends on March 15th.
This program is for the heating bill only. Unfortunately, it won’t cover your water (surface or waste) or solid waste charges.
They do stress that when this program you over, you must make arrangements to pay any past due balances before October 15th of the same year, even if you move, or you will not be eligible for the program again.
For additional help with your utilities, try these sources:
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