Tacoma Public Utilities assistance programs.

Tacoma Public Utilities is committed to working with struggling and low income customers. The company fully understands that from time to time some people may have challenges paying their utility bills, including water and electric expenses. So they offer assistance in the form of discounts, referrals to government aid, and other services.

Discounts may be offered and they may be as much as 30%. Some qualified Tacoma Public Utilities customers may receive this on their power, water, solid waste, and even wastewater bills. While not as common, customers may also receive a discount on their cable television services. Conditions may apply. In order to receive the Discount Rate Program for utilities, the household needs to have a member age 62 or older and who also receives disability. Or other criteria may be available.

Another program is known as Water & Public Works Assistance. This is only offered at most once per year. The customer will need to pay the difference of delinquent account charges before they are able to receive any assistance from this program.

For any type of financial assistance, Tacoma Public Utilities customers will need to meet income guidelines. They will review both their income as well as number of household members. Any funds or discounts provided are a last resort.

Another program is known as Tacoma PowerAid. The conditions of this program include that the home needs to have permanent electric heat, the applicant will need to pay the difference of delinquent account charges before you receive these assistance funds, and they also can’t already be on the Discount Rate program.

The Tacoma Family Need Program offers help with your utility bill at most once in a 12-month period. This is offered to qualified low income people whose income qualifies them for assistance. Discounts, cash grants, and other support may be offered to those that qualify. Applicants need to live in the home, it needs to have permanent electric heat, have a single-metered account, and income guidelines need to be met.




A program offered to all customers, regardless of their income, is Budget Billing. It is a Tacoma Public Utilities resource for residential customers. It will provide them with a consistent monthly utility payment amount. This means that they will pay the same dollar amount on their account each and every month.

The amount the customer pays will be based on their water bill for the past 12 months divided by 11 and then that will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Or it can be set for their electricity bill by reviewing the account for the past 12 months and then divide that amount by 11 and round it. The customer can also explore budget billings that can set their account as a fixed monthly charges for Solid Waste, Surface Water and Wastewater utility services. For any of these budgeting billing options, at month 12 the account will be trued up and the amount will be reset. The customer may be provided a credit or they may owe additional funds on their account.

In order to apply for these or any form of financial assistance, the customer will need to complete a Bill Payment Assistance application. They will also need to have full documentation, including proof of income, expenses, and other support to prove the hardship. All of these programs may change without notice. They are based on available funds. They need to bring all of this documentation and their application to the companies office.

The office is located at Tacoma Public Utilities, Customer Solutions Office, 3628 S. 35th St., Tacoma, WA 98409. You can also stop by to learn about other available solutions, including federal government or state of Washing government aid and grants, such as LIHEAP. Or call (253) 502-8600 for information.



By Jon McNamara

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