Emergency Help with Electric Bill

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Stop Electric Bill Shut Offs. Do you need help with your electricity or your electric bills? There are State and charity organizations that provide emergency help with your electric bills. There are, however, certain requirements to get help.  We will go over the agencies that help and how to qualify for assistance.

How to Prevent Electric Bill Shut Offs

Before you lose your utility services, know what to do to delay this action possibly.  Water, gas, and electric companies can not turn off your service if:

  • Be aware of your rights.
  • Arrange for a payment plan
  • Sign up for LIHEAP assistance
  • Let your utility company know you will be late.
  • You or someone in the home has a serious illness or using life-saving medical equipment.

Contact your utility company to inform them you have someone in the home who is sick or needs electricity to run a medical device.  Verify the medical issue from your doctor to the utility company.

Many states have some turn-off restrictions based on winter months’ temperature (32° F and below) or illness. Go to your utility provider website to check for their exceptions.  (State Disconnections Policies)

Other Ways to Prevent Electric Bill Shut Offs

Contact your electric company as soon as you begin to fall behind in your payments.  Do not wait to receive a disconnection notice.  This is what you want to do.

  • Tell the utility company you are having difficulties paying the bill.
  • Ask for a payment plan to break the bill into 12 monthly payments.
  • Request an extension  before a turn-off notice is sent
  • Finally, put in a financial hardship claim if you qualify for financial assistance.  

Assistance Programs that Help with Utility Bills

There are state assistance programs that can help prevent the loss of your services and help you get them turned back on.  You must qualify financially to receive help.

  • HUD
  • Modest Needs
  • Catholic Charities
  • The Salvation Army
  • Home Weatherization Assistance
  • St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

More About These Programs

HUD Utility Allowances

This is a monthly utility allowance given to those living in public housing.  It is automatically added to the monthly housing allowance.  (more)

What is LIHEAP Energy Assistance?

If you receive SNAP, WIC, TANF, you may qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). If you want to apply for assistance, contact the Department of Human Services or a community poverty agency. 

Each participating agency receives a budget each year. Funding is limited, and families with children and elderly have preference over single adults with no children.  You can receive help with,

  • Electric, water, gas bills
  • Stop the loss of your services.
  • Home Weatherization Grants and energy-saving home repairs

National Energy Assistance Referral Project:   866-674-6327


LIHEAP Energy Assistance Program
Aerospace Building, 5th Floor West
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447
(202) 401-9351 

Home Weatherization Assistance?

This program’s goal is two-fold.  They provide necessary home repairs to low-income.  They can make or replace a broken or faulty water heater, repair leaking roofs as well as doors and windows that lose heat.  Their goal is to make home energy efficient.

They help save on energy so the homeowner can save on utility bills.  Additionally, they make repairs to the home safe for the elderly and disabled.   (more)

Salvation Army

Families in crisis can get help with electric, gas, and water bills.  They work with the government to screen and pay mandatory household bills like rent and utilities.  Salvation Army can assist those who qualify when funding is available.  If monies are unavailable, they can give referrals to other agencies who can help. (more)

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

St. Vincent de Paul provides outreach to the community on many levels. They try to meet important and are dedicated to serving the poor.  For that reason, they support families, individuals, seniors, the disabled, the homeless and provide social services and financial assistance and counseling to the needy.

 Above all, if you are in danger of having your utilities disconnected or evicted, contact this organization.  (more)

Modest Needs

If you work and don’t qualify for government assistance, this may be a great option.  Modest Needs is non-profit organizations that help low-income working families and individuals take care of bills and other important household needs.  You can apply for a grant here.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities is a faith-based organization that gives aid to the poor, disabled, and immigrants to help maintain families’ stability.  They provide feeding programs, like, grocery distribution and feed home-bound elderly.   For that reason, you are facing eviction or disconnection of utilities. They can pay some or all of the rent or utility bills.   (more)

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