Best Resources for Help Paying Electricity Bills

Header Graphic

With the rising cost of living and the financial aftermath of Covid-19, many families are still struggling to pay their electricity bills on time.

Luckily, there are many federal energy assistance programs in place that help low-income families cope with the financial burden of costly electricity bills.

Continue reading as we go through everything you need to know about these programs so you can maintain a happy, healthy home.

Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

Help Turning On Utility Services Without Money

If you do not have money to turn your utilities back on, don’t worry. There are emergency assistance programs in place to help. Many of these resources can assist applicants that don’t have access to income or savings. Plus, all utility types may be covered, including electricity and heat.

There are a few government programs and charities in place that can help pay your connection fee or deposit fee. Most often, you will need a source of income to be eligibile, though it may be possible to receive help without an income depending on the program or charity.

The process of turning your electricity back on depends on the state you live in and the utility company that serves your home.

Let’s take a look at some of the top assistance programs available to you.

Top Federal Assistance Programs

Percentage of Income Payment Plan

PIPP

Percentage of Income Payment Plan

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

LIHEAP

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Homeless Prevention and Rehousing Programs

HPRP

Homeless Prevention and Rehousing Programs

Most public assistance comes in the form of TANF programs

Public Assistance

Most public assistance comes in the form of TANF programs

Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP)

Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) is a special government payment plan that helps low-income families pay for their electric and gas bills. You fill out an application with your income details, and the program determines what portion of your monthly bill you will pay based on your income.

With PIPP Plus, you will pay 10% of your monthly household income to the electric company. If you heat your home with gas, you will pay 6% of your monthly household income to the electric company and 6% to the gas company

To apply for PIPP, fill out an application.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is one of the top federal programs for financial assistance with energy bills. If your income is below 100% of federal poverty guidelines, you may be eligible for this assistance.

LIHEAP provides a variety of services, some of the most popular being:

  • Budget Counseling Services
  • Energy Education
  • Financial Assistance with 48-Hour Shut-Off Notices
  • Energy-Related Home Repairs
  • Weatherization

When you apply for LIHEAP, you may receive energy reduction or weatherization services for your home. Weatherization uses insulation and other types of energy-efficient materials to reduce energy loss from your property, lowering the amount you spend on energy each month.

To determine if you are eligible for LIHEAP, you must contact your state office.

Homeless Prevention and Rehousing Programs (HPRP)

Because many landlords may consider an apartment or house “uninhabitable” if the unit does not have electricity, there are programs in place to help turn on and maintain utilities. More often than not, the federal government will pay for this, though funds are often dispersed locally to charities such as United Way or The Salvation Army.

Rehousing programs like these are in place to help those who were formerly homeless and do not have income or savings to turn their power on. In many cases, an individual will need to show that they were homeless at one point in their life, and now have some financial stability. Forms of financial stability include jobs or proof of completing transitional housing programs.

Many rehousing programs address electric service needs for those without money.

Public Assistance

Most public assistance comes in the form of TANF programs, which can help people with limited or no funds turn their electricity back on. Most of these resources fall under the social service department.

This type of public assistance is a form of homeless prevention, and many government agencies see this as a method of being proactive. You can learn more about applying for these kinds of cash assistance programs here.

If you’re struggling to turn on the electricity in your new home because of arrearage on your utilities from a previous residence, you may consider asking your utility company what payment options are available. You may be able to set up a payment plan or pre-paid accounts to get your new service up and running.

Help from Non-Profits and Charities

There are many local and national organizations that may be able to offer help, as well. Funding for these types of programs may be more limited than federal programs, as they mostly rely on donations from businesses and individuals. However, these organizations may still be able to provide financial assistance if your family is in the midst of a crisis.

If none of the federal program options worked for you, you might consider trying some of these organizations as a last resort:

  • American Red Cross
  • Operation Round-Up
  • Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is an excellent resource for people who need additional help paying for heating, electricity, and other utility bills. Plus, there are plenty of local Salvation Army centers across the nation, so finding one near you should be easy.

Most financial help comes in the form of loans. Charities use loans to encourage applicants without money to stabilize their financial situations. Prior to getting in contact with one of these groups, you should prepare to agree to any terms and conditions that may be in place.

Get Personalized Power Recommendations

Enter your address and WattBuy's proprietary energy estimation model will find the best electricity options for your home

Final Thoughts

Struggling to pay for your electricity is stressful, but as you can see, there there are many assistance programs in place that can help.

If you’re interested in finding a renewable and affordable energy plan that can work for your needs, make sure to get in contact with us here at WattBuy. We specialize in helping people of all financial backgrounds save on their electricity bills by working with PUC-licensed companies to provide options specifically tailored to individual homes.