Heating bill assistance from Puget Sound Energy HELP program
Almost $30 million dollars is being provided to fund PSE’s Home Energy Lifeline Program (HELP). The money is made up of almost $15 million from Puget Sound, and the federal government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will provide almost $15 million more as a result of increased federal government funding.
Local community action agencies manage and administrate PSE’s HELP program. The program provides the utility’s low-income natural gas and electric customers with bill-payment assistance and resources to help them make it through the cold winter.
In total, the increased government funding and the release of the new LIHEAP funds is expected to provide the state of Washington with a total of $81 million in additional energy bill assistance. Currently your local community service agency has begun to accept applications from qualified families for the federal grants, and applications can usually be submitted anytime after November of each year.
While there are factors and criteria to consider when applying, depending on the applying households income and household size, a qualified low or moderate income recipient can receive up to $1,000 from PSE’s HELP and up to an additional $1,000 in LIHEAP bill assistance.
For this up coming heating season, which will also be similar to last year’s, the community agencies serving residents in PSE’s 11-county Washington state service area will receive in total a $14 million appropriation from LIHEAP and an additional $14.6 million through PSE’s HELP program.
The demand for aid is tremendous. For example, during last years heating season, more than 30,000 customers, which were just in PSEs area, were assisted by PSE’s HELP and the federal governments LIHEAP programs, and the number of people helped each year continues to increase.
Both low and moderate income families are urged to take advantage of the application process. With any program with limited funding, it is always important for low to moderate income families to get an early start on preparing for the winter heating season bills, and apply while the funding exists.
You can dial 1-866-223-5425 to find your local agency to apply at.