Omaha Public Power and West Central Development utility bill assistance in Nebraska.

The Omaha Public Power District is working its customers as well as local non-profits such as West Central Development in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska with paying their utility bills. The program is targeted with helping families and individuals in Burt, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties with their bills.

Anyone who needs assistance is being asked to schedule an appointment to see if they qualify for the financial aid. While funds vary, in some years over 1,000 families receive almost $300,000 from the program to put toward their bills, and they are hoping to provide more financial aid each year as funds are donated. Assistance for the program is available once per calendar year and is limited to $300 per household per year.

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) which was created by Omaha Public Power District was created in the late 1990s in order to help low income families, the unemployed, disadvantaged families, and the working poor pay energy-related expenses and bills, such as heating or utility. The program was targeted at helping people primarily during the spring, summer and fall months. The winter months are covered by the federal government LIHEAP program.

Such energy expenses and utility bills covered might include higher-than-normal summer cooling bills or emergency equipment repairs, or funds to help people facing a disconnection. The program is administered by the West Central Development community action as well as Omaha Public Power, which screens applicants and distributes the funds.

There are some condition that need to be met before applying. All potential clients of the program need to have made some sort of effort to pay their bills, in particular at least three regular payments to their utility or heating bill in the last six months.

Additionally, another criteria is that the individuals must either have a household member 62 years of age or older, or one or more of the following. They need to have a health care or medical need for utility bill assistance as verified by a doctor; or a primary earner in the household member recently must have lost a job through no fault of their own and the job loss can be verified. Another condition may be that the person applying for help needs to face an unexpected expense (car repairs, medical appointment, appliance repair) and can show paid receipts for the expense in question as well.





You can click here to locate other utility bill assistance programs in this region of Nebraska. Or feel free to call 712-322-2621 to learn more about the Omaha Nebraska Public Power District and how they partner with groups such as the West Central Development.

By Jon McNamara

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