Assistance programs can help with energy bills

Submitted by sheilac on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 08:39
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The state Department of Commerce has made additional funds available to help residents pay their energy bills through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Funds are first-come, first-served.

Qualifying households could receive up to $500 in energy assistance if they have been affected by COVID-19, such as income loss, business shutdown or health issues from the virus. The household must also be at or below 125% of the federal poverty level, such as an annual income of $32,188 for a family of four. Households must have also received – or will receive – a LIHEAP benefit in the current program year (Oct. 2019-Oct. 2020).

Okanogan County PUD customers could also be eligible for Project Help funds, which is a donation-based program that helps PUD customers with bills when there is an unexpected loss of income or other emergency situation.

Local funds are distributed through Okanogan County Community Action Council; get more information on their website, www.occac.com. Any residents concerned about paying their energy bill can contact Community Action at 509-422-4041 or 1-877-641-0101. Appointments will be over the phone, not in person, during COVID-19 restrictions.