Up to $500 available through South Carolina electric bill assistance grants

Instead of dealing with another disconnection notice, you may be able to keep your lights on thanks to South Carolina electric bill assistance programs. While some are charitable programs, there are government funded assistance programs as well. Combined, these programs give you opportunities to reduce your future power bills as well as to get bailed out of emergency situations with cash grants.

The federal program is probably the best place to start, since funding is fairly reliable from one year to the next. Community block grants are provided by the federal government to local agencies who then distribute those funds to families like yours. Local agencies are responsible for screening applicants for this need-based program so that all recipients are verified to qualify for electric bill assistance through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Lower income families may qualify if total annual household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level. Cash grants of at least $130 but not more than $500 may be directed to your electricity account to help lower your electric bills or to protect you from having your power disconnected.

Your utility company also has programs that can match donations to needy families. You will need to contact your electricity provider directly to request information on their programs. Most utility programs are modeled after the “Project Share”, “Share the Warmth” or “Operation RoundUp” programs, so be sure to request one of those programs by name when you call.

You may also find that local charities provide help with utility payments. For example, Area Churches Together Serving (ACTS) provides emergency cash to local residents who have received an emergency shutoff notice from the power company. Local residents should call 803-642-5919.

Most communities have multiple programs in place to provide South Carolina electric bill assistance for needy families. When you find yourself unable to keep up with rising energy costs, take advantage of funding that has been allocated for people in your situation. After all, the weather isn’t always balmy in the Palmetto state!

Kenneth Long
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Kenneth Long

President at Debtors Unite
Kenneth Long is President of Debtors Unite, Inc. as well as President and Vice Chairman for Vision Credit Education, Inc. He served as a regional coordinator for the North Carolina Saves campaign. Long co-founded the Wake EITC Coalition along with Family Resource Center of Raleigh.

Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.

Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.

In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.

Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!

Favorite quote:

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson
Kenneth Long
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