There’s no worse feeling than getting a bill that you know you can’t pay, especially in these trying times. When your electric bill comes and you are not sure you have enough to cover the cost, know that there are resources that can help. Keep reading to learn five ways to make sure your electric bill is covered each month.
Where else can I get help with my electric bill?
Additional help with your electric bill can come from two main places: government assistance and utility company programs. If you are in search of emergency payment assistance and do not know where to begin, check out NeedHelpPayingBills.com. This website has information about state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations and other programs that can help you out. Here are just a few of the many ways you can get help with your energy bills.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program that offers help to individuals and families that need assistance with their electric bill. Surprisingly, out of the nearly 15 million people in the United States who are considered eligible candidates for this assistance, only 5.5 million of those people actually take advantage of the program.
This program can do two things for people in need of assistance when it comes to paying their electric bill. First, LIHEAP can provide financial assistance to help offset your electricity bills. Second, LIHEAP can provide support for is making your home more energy efficient through their Weatherization Assistance Program. Items that fall under the Weatherization Assistance Program include sealing off cracks or leaks in your windows and doors, replacing or fixing broken furnaces and air conditioners and installing insulation where needed.
In Texas, the program is called the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). There are a few standards you must meet to qualify for the state program. If you meet the standards below, you may be eligible for Texas’ HEAP program. You can apply for CEAP benefits starting in November.
- You must be a resident of the state of Texas and need financial assistance for home energy costs
- You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, OR
- You receive Temporary Assistance benefits, OR
- You receive Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI Living Alone), OR
- Your income must be below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.
You can learn more about LIHEAP, CEAP and the Weatherization Assistance program by visiting the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website, or dial 2-1-1 to be directed to the appropriate place.
Utility Company Programs
If you are struggling to keep up with your electric bill, talk to your utility company about any assistance programs they may offer. Texas utility companies are required to offer deferred payment plans. Once you agree to the terms of the deferred payment plan, you can be protected against disconnection. When setting up deferred payment plans, Utility companies often add a small amount of money to your balance until your bill is paid off or offer a fixed rate payment option, which can help you manage your budget.
Not all utility companies offer the same types of programs, so be sure to check out your utility company’s website for more information. A list of the Texas transmission and delivery utility (TDU) companies that Payless Power works with are listed below. For a closer look at where these TDUs operate, check out this map:
- AEP Texas Central & AEP Texas North
- CenterPoint Energy – Houston Metro Area
- CenterPoint Energy – Outside of Houston Metro Area
What are some of your tricks for staying on top of your electric bill?
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