Cold weather can sometimes lead to unusually high bills for many Seattle City Light customers. If you are having trouble paying your City Light bill, there are three programs that might help… And an option for you to help others.
Federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The first program for customers that need help is the Federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP offers assistance with paying bills along with budget counseling and weatherization services. Depending upon where you live, you can sign up for LIHEAP online or via phone.
City Light has instructions on how to sign up for LIHEAP here.
Utility Discount Program (UDP)
The City of Seattle also offers the Utility Discount Program (UDP) for income-qualified customers of Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities. In 2016, changes to the program’s auto-enrollment were projected to double enrolled households to 28,000 by 2018. That goal has been exceeded already, but tens of thousands of households that might be eligible have yet to enroll.
Customers enrolled in UDP receive 60 percent off their City Light bills, so if you need help check to see if you meet income requirements and enroll here.
Emergency Low Income Assistance (ELIA)
City Light offers its own program for customers who have received an “Urgent” or “Shut-Off” notice on balances of $250 or more. The Emergency Low Income Assistance (ELIA) program offers up to $200 every 12 months for customers who make the minimum payment to avoid disconnection and payment arrangements for the balance.
To get more information or sign up for ELIA, call (206) 684-3688 or email SCL_InfoELIA@seattle.gov.
Looking to help others? Donate to Project Share
Finally, there is a program available for LIHEAP or ELIA participants which is funded by donations from City Light employees, customers and other supporters. Project Share takes donations and disburses the money to those in need. Last year, Project Share provided assistance to about 1,000 people. The average benefit for recipients was $250.
Project Share’s one-time emergency assistance grants can make a huge difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors. If you are financially stable, please consider making a donation here.