Almost $30 million in heating and utility bill assistance is being provided from the Puget Sound Energy HELP program. PSE's Home Energy Lifeline Program (HELP) is providing about $15 million in aid, and when combined with the federal government's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which will provide an additional $14, when combined the two programs will help tens of thousands of Washington families.
Community action agencies are administering PSE's HELP program, which will provide customers who are low-income with help on their utility bills. In addition the federal government LIHEAP funds are expected to provide the state of Washington with over $80 million in additional energy bill assistance. The money is flowing now, and people are able to contact their local local community service agencies, and these agencies have begun to accept applications from qualified families for the federal grants.
While the exact amount of aid provided to each family will vary, depending on household income and household size, a qualified low or moderate income recipient can receive up to $1,000 from PSE's HELP program and they can also get up to $1,000 in bill assistance from the LIHEAP program.
Last year, over 30,000 customers received aid and grants from Puget Sound Energy’s HELP program. In addition, thousands of others received grants from the LIHEAP program.
Low and moderate income individuals and families are urged to take advantage of the application process and apply for help. PSE stressed that it is important for low and moderate income families to get an early start on preparing for the winter heating season bills, and plan and apply early.
PSE customers who need additional information, or who would like to apply and who need contact information for the nearest community service agencies should call toll-free, 1-866-223-5425 to find a community action agency in their area.