Washington Advocacy Center

LIHEAP: Fighting Poverty in Washington

Click on the map below for county level funding and congressional districts

LIHEAP Contact
Website: www.liheapwa.org

Local LIHEAP Administering Agency Contacts
www.wapartnership.org/agencies.html

Weatherization Assistance Program
Local Administering Agency Contacts
Website

In the News:

Deadline Looms for Federal Home Heating Bill Assistance Funds at Central Area Motivation Program

SEATTLE, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Low-income Seattle residents struggling to keep up with their home heating bills may qualify for financial assistance. Applications to the Energy Assistance Program at Central Area Motivation Program are being accepted until August 31, 2011.

For many Seattle households in crisis, deciding between paying their rent and paying their utility bill is a difficult choice. Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) can help — funds are still available through its Energy Assistance Program.  Income eligible Seattle residents can apply for federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits to help offset the cost of home heating until the end of August.

“It is no secret that many people are facing financial hardship,” said Andrea Caupain, Executive Director of CAMP, “However, our Energy Assistance Program is one of our community’s critical resources that can provide relief. Eligible Seattle residents who can’t pay their heating or electric bill can still get the help they need.”

CAMP’s Energy Assistance Program provides over $3 Million annually to income-eligible households needing energy bill assistance based on the household’s income.  Applicants do not have to have their utilities disconnected for nonpayment or even be behind on their bill to apply.

Last year, CAMP served more than 8,500 households with federal LIHEAP and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) HELP program funds.  With recent reports from the Census Bureau stating the percentage of Americans in poverty reached a 15-year high during 2009, CAMP has served a record number of households this season, many of which are also applying for other social assistance programs. For some residents the financial pinch has continually worsened — the cost of home heating oil increased roughly 12 percent between 2010 and 2011.

“There has been a flood of people from all walks of life applying for utility assistance this year,” said Leon Garnett, Program Director at CAMP. “But we know there are even more out there who need help paying their Seattle City Light bill or Puget Sound Energy bill. Our goal is to help as many as we can before funding runs out.”

CAMP’s Energy Assistance Program provides assistance for families or individuals living in Seattle apartments or homes, whether they are renters or owners.  Applicants must be at or below 125% of the federal poverty level to qualify for LIHEAP (A monthly income of $2298 after taxes for a family of four), and at or below 150% of the federal poverty level and a customer of Puget Sound Energy to qualify for Puget Sound Energy HELP.  Financial assistance to Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, or local oil providers range from $25 to $1,000 depending on income, housing type, household size, and energy consumption. Heating system repairs and replacements, as well as chimney cleaning and replacement of broken windows are available to qualified homeowners, as funding permits. To apply, Seattle residents should call the Energy Assistance Hotline at 800-348-7144 or visit www.campseattle.org for more information on qualifying income levels and program hours.

About Central Area Motivation Program: For more than 45 years, CAMP has provided essential human services to meet the needs of Seattle’s low-income residents.  CAMP is one of Washington’s oldest and most respected community organizations, with programs and services helping more than 20,000 people annually through food, housing, and education programs.  CAMP’s programs provide immediate financial relief to their clients, with special attention given to emergency situations such as power shutoff and eviction. For more information, visit www.campseattle.org.

Washington Utilities

All of the utilities and Public Utility Districts listed below provide rate discounts for low-income, seniors or disabled customers. Discounts range from 5% to 40% of a customer’s utility bill.

Tacoma Public Utilities
Special discount rates for all City of Tacoma utilities are available to qualified, low-income customers who are, 62 years or older or disabled: 25% discount from Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water and Sewer Utility; 35% discount from Solid Waste Utility; and; discount on Click! Network cable television services.
Metropolitan Development Council, 253-572-5557 (City of Tacoma Residents)
Pierce County Community Services, 1-800-348-7144 (outside the city) -
www.ci.tacoma.wa.us/power/ResidentialServices/

Seattle City Light
www.ci.seattle.wa.us/light/accounts/assistance/

  • Discounted Rates for Low-Income, Seniors and Disabled
    Qualifying customers can save 50% on electric, water, sewer and garbage bills. Senior citizens or a persons with disabilities with income at or below 70% of the state median level, call the Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens at 206-684-0268.
    Customers with household income at or below 70% of state’s median income may call the Seattle Human Services Department at (206) 684-0268 to qualify and enroll. Customers living in federally-funded public housing and Section 8 housing are not eligible.
  • Emergency Low Income Assistance
    Seattle City Light customers may receive assistance of up to 50% or $200 of their electric bill if they have received a final notice. Household income must be at or below 125% of federal poverty, and customers must have already received help from the Energy Assistance Program. Payment arrangements to cover any balance are required. This assistance is limited to once a year.
    206-684-3000

AVISTA Utilities

Benton Co. PUD
Low-Income Senior and Disabled Discount
A 15 percent discount is available to qualified customers with an annual household income that is 100 percent to 175 percent of the federal poverty level. A 20 percent discount is available for customers with an income that is less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Customers must be 62 years of age for the Senior Low Income discount. The Disabled Low Income discount is available to customers that have a member in the household who is disabled. To apply, call the Benton Franklin Community Action Committee at 509-545-4065. Applications are also available on the PUD’s website.
www.bentonpud.org/articles/low_income_discounts.php

Chelan County PUD
Rate Discount
Low-income senior citizens and disabled customers may be eligible for a discount on their electric bills.
Wenatchee (PUD Headquarters) 509-663-8121
Chelan 509-682-2581
Leavenworth 509-548 -7761
City of Port Angeles
360-457-0411 or e-mail: utilities@cityofpa.us
www.cityofpa.us/utilitypymtchoices.htm

  • Senior Energy Credit Program
    Seniors 62 years of age or older may qualify for a 5-30% discount on their utility bill. Eligibility: income $21,000 or less; must apply for all available State and/or Federal energy related programs; must not live in subsidized housing and; must participate in available conservation programs.
  • Low-Income Disabled Citizen Discount
    Individually determined percentage of utility bill, based on income and number in household, is discounted. Eligibility: income at or below 125% of established poverty level; verification of disability and income; must apply for all available State and/or Federal energy related programs; must not live in subsidized housing and; must agree to renew application yearly.

City of Richland
Low-Income Rate Discounts
Low-income seniors (age 62) and low-income disabled customers receive a variety of utility services at discounted rates. Eligibility: household income is less than 125% of the poverty level.
509-942-7390
www.ci.richland.wa.us/
Clallam County PUD
Contact any PUD office (www.clallampud.net/contact_Us/contactUs.asp) for an application or call 1-800-542-7859
www.clallampud.net/customer_service/disabled_discounts.asp

  • Senior Citizen Discount
    The PUD offers a discount on electric and water bills to customers who are 62 years or older and have a total household income less than $18,000.
  • Disabled Discount
    The PUD offers a discount on electric and water bills to disabled customers whose total combined household income is at or below 125 percent of the federally established poverty level.

Clark Co. PUD
360-992-3000 or e-mail us
www.clarkpublicutilities.com/Account/AssistancePrograms

  • Guarantee of Service Plan
    Customers pay a maximum monthly amount based on income rather than electricity use. Security deposits and late charges are waived.
  • Rate Credits
    A senior 62 years or older who has an annual income less than $24,000 qualifies for a 50% credit. The credit is based on the customer’s highest four winter month bills.

Columbia Rural Electric Association
Senior Citizen Discount
Seniors 65 or older with income less than or equal to 150% of federal poverty guidelines may be eligible for a rate discount.
509-382-2578 Dayton, 509-526-4041 Walla Walla, 1-800-642-1231
www.columbiarea.com/seniorCitizenDiscount.aspx

Cowlitz County PUD

  • Low-income Senior Discount Rate
    A reduced electric rate for qualified seniors aged 65 or older, with a gross annual household income under $18,000. Application for 2007 starts September 1, 2006.
  • Low-income Disabled Discount Rate
    A discount is available for customers who qualify for special parking privileges, blind, disabled, and handicapped or an incapacitated person as defined under the Revised Code of the State of Washington (RCW) and receive a disability income, and meet all eligibility guidelines.
  • To apply for either discount, contact Columbia Community Action Council at 360-425-3430 and request an appointment.
    www.cowlitzpud.org/low_income.php

Ferry County PUD
Low-Income Senior Discount
To qualify for a discount on your electric utility bill for your primary residence, you must be 62 years or older and meet income level requirements. For an application, Marilee Schertenleib at msfcpud@rcabletv.com.
509-775-3325
www.fcpud.com/customer_service.htm#Low Income Senior Discount

Franklin PUD

Grays Harbor PUD
360-532-4220 or 1-800-562-7726
www.ghpud.org/

  • Senior Discount Program
    Seniors 62 years or older with an annual income of less than $18,000 may be eligible for a discount. A completed application, identification, proof of age, social security card, and one of your P.U.D. electric bills will be required upon application.
  • Disabled Discount Program
    You may be eligible for a discount on your electric bill if you have a disability covered by Washington State Laws and have an annual income of less than $18,000. A completed application, including a health professionals statement and one P.U.D. electric bill will be required upon application.

Klickitat PUD
www.klickpud.com/custserv/default.asp

  • Low Income Winter Discount
    The PUD provides 10 percent winter discounts to low income customers, as long as they are current on their PUD bills. To qualify for the discount, a household’s income must be below 125 percent of the federal poverty level. Households must be certified by Klickitat Skamania Development Council.
    Contact Loretta Lindsey at KSDC, 493-2662 or 1- 800-755-1192.
  • Low Income Elderly Discount
    The PUD offers 10 to 40 percent discounts to low income seniors from December through April. To qualify for the senior discount, customers must be at least 62 years old and have annual household incomes below $15,000.  Contact the county Senior Services office, 773-3757, or 1-800-447-7858 for application. For more information, contact the PUD Customer Services Department at 773-5891 or 800-548-8357.

Mason County PUD

  • Low-income discount for senior citizens, age 62 and over who are permanent, year-round customers of PUD 3, whose annual disposable income is $35,000 or less and who do not live in federally subsidized housingy. The discount amounts to approximately $15.00 a month. A senior citizen discount application form is available online (www.masonpud3.org/documents/seniordiscount.pdf) or contact your local PUD offices (www.masonpud3.org/contactus/contact.aspx)
    www.masonpud3.org/customerService/lowincome.aspx
  • Discount for low-income disabled persons, approximately $15.00 a month. To qualify, the PUD account must be in the name of the disabled person. The customer cannot live in federally subsidized housing and must be a permanent, year-round customer of Mason County PUD 3. Call the Community Action Council at 426-9726 or toll free at 1-800-952-6992 to schedule a qualification appointment.
    www.masonpud3.org/customerService/lowincome.aspx

Pacific Co. PUD
Low Income Senior and Disabled Discount
Seniors (62 and over) and disabled customers who fall within the federal poverty guidelines may qualify for a discount of up to 40% of the electric bill. Applications must be renewed annually and are available at P.U.D. offices.
Long Beach office 360-642-3191
Raymond office 360-942-2411
Naselle 360-484-7454
www.pacificpud.org/cs_disc.html

Pacific Power
Low-Income Bill Assistance
A three-tiered bill discount based on income is available during the heating months of November through April. Monthly billings include a discount on each kWh of usage over 600 kWh. Contact your local community action agency:
Columbia, Garfield, Walla Walla
Blue Mountain Action Council
509-529-4980
Yakima County – South of Union Gap
Northwest Community Action Center
509-865-7630
Yakima County – North of Union Gap
Yakima Valley OIC
509-452-7145
Peninsula Light Company
Senior and Disabled Discount
Discounts of 25% are available to income eligible seniors, 62 or older, and disabled customers. Applications are on the website.
857-5950 or 1-888-809-8021
www.penlight.org/memberServices/myAccount/Discounts.aspx

Puget Sound
HELP
Provides additional bill-payment assistance (beyond the federal LIHEAP program) to qualified PSE customers. Eligible customers can receive up to $1,000 per year in credits to lower their electricity or natural-gas bills. Depending on the county in which you live, the maximum household income for eligibility ranges between 125 percent and 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Contact a local agency for assistance.
1-888-225-5773 ; TTY 1-800-962-9498
http://pse.com/accountsandservices/YourBill/Pages/Low-Income-Assistance.aspx

Snohomish Co. PUD
Senior and Low-Income Discounts
Year-round discounts of 20 percent, 40 percent, or 60 percent off electric bills, depending on income level. Low-income customers at or below 125% federal poverty level and seniors, 62 or older, with income less than $25,988. Applications are available online or at any PUD office, most senior citizen centers, or by calling the utility’s customer service department.
425-783-1000 or 1-877-783-1000
www.snopud.com/home/account/discounts.ashx?p=1188

LIHEAP Administering Agency Contact

www.wapartnership.org/agencies.html