Programs are offered by Cascade Natural Gas and the government that may be available to help Oregon residents pay utility bills, avoid disconnections, and save money. The main programs include Winter Help, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and weatherization.
Winter Help was created by Cascade Natural Gas, and it is funded by donations and contributions from customers and local businesses across Oregon. The funds that are paid out from the assistance program are targeted for low-income households who are at imminent risk of disconnection of their gas service. Any financial assistance or benefits will be delivered as a once-a-year credit to Cascade Natural Gas accounts. The program has been running since 1989, and since that time they have helped on average several hundred families per year. A number of criteria need to be met by applicants, and eligibility for Winter Help is determined by household income and other factors.
Funding is from donations and contributions from the community. When someone contributes to Winter Help, Cascade Natural Gas will even match each dollar donated up to a maximum of $37,000 per year. Contributions are tax-deductible, and they are guaranteed to be used in your local community.
To contribute to the program and to help the less fortunate, individuals can complete the Winter Pay form and mail it with your cash donation to an address established by the company. Contact Cascade Natural Gas at 1-888-522-1130 for more information on the address, or to donate over the phone. Also if you are including your donation on the payment stub on your monthly bill, please remember to check the box in order for your donation to be applied correctly.
The program is run as a non-profit too. Winter Help is registered under the Charitable Solicitations Act in Washington. If anyone is interested, call (360) 725-0378 to obtain financial disclosure information.
Cascade Natural Gas and their qualified low income customers in Oregon can apply for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. This can provide government grants to help low-income households, including elderly and seniors, pay part of their monthly energy bills. There is only a window of time in which people can apply for money from this federal resource. Guidelines and income levels can also change over time. Guidelines and more details can be found on the Oregon Housing and Community Service website. Or call a local community action agency for details.
Residential dwellings heated with natural gas may be able to reduce their energy usage by using weatherization assistance. It is an option for income-qualified residential dwellings heated with natural gas. Free improvements can be made to the home to address conservation issues, and some Cascade customers can even receive minor home repairs, appliances, and similar updates.
Cascade Natural Gas also partners with many local non-profits and community action agencies across Oregon. Call these organizations to apply for Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, weatherization, or other aid. They are also very effective at offering individuals other solutions to their financial difficulties.
Some of the local non-profits to call for help with bills or information on assistance programs include:
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