There are numerous utility and electric bill assistance programs being offered to citizens of Montana. If you are in need of help with your heating or power bill, check to see if you are eligible for any of these charitable or government programs.
Check with Your Utility Company
You might not realize it, but nearly all utility companies offer help for low income people, and many provide assistance to the elderly and disabled as well. Discounts and credits are often provided as rate assistance, and weatherization services are sometimes given too.
For example, NorthWestern Energy customers who already qualify for LIEAP (see below for more on LIHEAP) automatically qualify for discounts on both their electric and gas bills. Call 1-800-332-2272 for more information.
Most other utility companies and coop’s provide similar assistance. To find out what your electric and/or energy company offers, you should contact them directly.
Help from Charities
If you are in need of emergency help to avoid having your power or heat disconnected, these charities offer programs that may be able to help you. Keep in mind that these organizations have limited funds which are used as a last resort for those who are truly in need.
NorthWestern Energy’s Energy Share program provides one-time assistance for heating bills, repairs for heating equipment, and other special energy/heating needs. Eligibility is need based. Call 1-800-777-7589 for info.
Flathead electric provides the following programs:
- Energy Share: 1-800-344-5979
- Keep the Lights On: Help for household who have had their power disconnected. Call 1-800-735-8489
- Neighbors in Need: 406-752-8181
LIEAP and the Weatherization Program
The largest electric and utility bill assistance programs are offered by the state of Missouri: the Weatherization Program and LIEAP. Both offer to help low income residents lower their heating and energy costs.
LIEAP stands for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, and helps pay part of the heating and energy bills for low income people. LIEAP is available to both homeowners and renters who are in need. Many people who qualify for this program also qualify for additional discounts or help from their utility company.
The Weatherization Program helps low income families and individuals improve the energy efficiency of their home. This results in less electricity and energy usage and, therefore, lower bills.
For information on either of these programs, call the Montana Citizen’s Advocate at 1-800-332-2272.
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!
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