As Washington state recovers from the recent winter cold weather and storms, Puget Sound Energy is reminding customers having trouble paying their heating bills that almost $29 million in monetary assistance is available this year from two low-income programs administered by community service agencies that recently received increased funding from the PSE and the federal government.
The utility also encourages customers to call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 to sign up for the balanced payment plan, which averages bills across a 12-month period.
PSE customers can also apply to The Salvation Army Warm Home Fund for emergency, short-term utility bill assistance. This fund is maintained by voluntary contributions from PSE employees, customers and shareholders. PSE customers should contact their nearest Salvation Army district office for more information about the Warm Home Fund.
Depending on income and household size, a qualified low-income recipient can receive $750 from PSE's Home Energy Lifeline Program, or HELP, and up to $1,000 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) bill credits.
The amount of HELP aid given to a PSE electricity or natural gas customer depends on household size, income, and energy usage. The program is open to residential customers with household earnings up to 150 percent of the federal poverty standard. For a family of four, the income cap is $2,650 per month.
PSE customers needing contact information for the nearest HELP or LIHEAP community service agencies should call toll-free, 1-866-223-5425.