Several resources are offered to Seattle City Light customers. With many families struggling to pay their utilities, the company is committed to working with the less fortunate. They may provide them with payment plans, budget billing, discounts, and programs such as Project Share. Some of the common beneficiaries include the unemployed, senior citizens, and low income families with children. A summary of the main programs and possible solutions are noted below.
Financial assistance is offered as part of Project Share. While funding levels will vary, in most years thousands of families with children, disabled and seniors are supported. Many of these customers would be left in the dark if it wasn't for the Seattle City Light Project Share program. It relies on donations from the community, so if you can contribute then please do so.
Project Share is paid for customers' donations and matching grants. It is even available to qualified customers that have participated in ELIA or LIHEAP. If the customer makes a payment towards their account within two weeks, the Project Share program may even make a matching pledge to further help pay your bill.
Anything you donate to this program will go directly to helping customers and not paying administrative costs. Your donation, no matter how much it is, will help people in need and is also tax deductible. Anyone can make a one time donation or they can decide to round up their utility bills and contribute on a monthly basis. The financial aid is offered as a last resort and all other options need to have been explored first. Call (206) 684-3000 for more information or to apply.
Discounts are provided to many customers. This is a great way to lower your monthly energy bills. It is based on the customers income and it will allow those that qualify to save money on their electric and heating bills. Another benefit is that it will allow households to save money on other Seattle Public Utilities costs like sewer, water and even garbage expenses. In addition to the discount, customers will receive a free home energy audit. This can help them obtain even greater savings on their account. These discounts are not offered for those families that receive a government subsidized home or a section 8 housing voucher.
Payment arrangements may be another option. This is when customer service representatives from Seattle City Light will work with the customer to find some form of solution. You need to call them early, before you fall behind, to inquire. This is not an option if your power has been disconnected, you have received a Shut Off Notice, or if you have broken arrangements in the past.
The main government program in Washington is the LIHEAP, or Federal Energy Assistance Program. This is mostly offered for those Seattle City Light customers if their main source of heat is gas, electricity or heating oil. Also, if you need help paying your utility bill during the winter season, dial (800) 348-7144. Other government resources offered include weatherization services, energy education, or budget counseling.
The Emergency Low Income Assistance (ELIA) is a possibility for customers who have received a shut off or disconnection notice. If you apply for this program during the portion of the year that LIHEAP is operating, the customer needs to first receive assistance from the federal government and LIHEAP. In order to apply or participate, the applicant needs to first make the payment that is due to avoid disconnection. At that time Seattle City Light will also offer the customer payment arrangements on the remaining balance on their account. You can only apply as funding allows and at most once per year. To income qualified customers with limited household incomes, Seattle City Light also offers discounted utility rates and special assistance for your account.
Budget Billing Plan, or the Average Payment Plan, will allow households to average out their payments for your summer electric and winter heating bills over the year. The customers budgeting process will be easier. Another benefit is that your monthly utility bills won't be as big when they're spread throughout the year. There are no extra charges to enroll and also no income guidelines to apply, so anyone can enroll. Both renters and homeowners can enroll.
To learn more or apply for financial help, call Seattle City Light at (800) 348-7144.
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