If your power bill is higher than you can pay, find out how to take advantage of Texas electric bill assistance programs. These needs-based programs provide much needed cash grants to lower income families throughout the Lone Star State.
How much assistance could you get? Texas receives over $175 million annually from the federal government. Those funds are used to reduce monthly electric bills, especially during extreme temperature months. They are also used to help residents in financial crisis keep their lights on.
A maximum benefit per family is $1,200 annually for heating, or $1,200 annually for cooling. The average heating benefit is around $600 per applicant.
These funds are received from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and are distributed to qualifying residents through the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). To apply, call 1-877-399-8939.
Another program is available to help you improve the energy efficiency of your home. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables lower income families to make improvements to their homes that will reduce power consumption. If you believe that you could benefit, call 1-888-606-8889.
Both of the above numbers are accessible by land line telephones. If you are calling from a cell phone, you may need to dial 211 to request a connection from the United Way operator.
Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Households with annual income below 200% of the federal poverty level normally qualify.
Texas also subsidizes lower income power bills by authorizing a discount of normally at least 12 percent from July to October ($25-30 monthly discount on average). This discount is provided in most years, but it must be reauthorized by the Texas Public Utility Commission. The discount is limited to those who are below 125% of the federal poverty level, and it is directed toward families living in certain locations (Houston, Dallas, parts of southern and western Texas).
Don’t let financial stress put your family at risk. Protect yourself and your loved ones from the ravages of summer and winter by claiming the benefits that you qualify for. Electric bill assistance is normally provided on a first come-first served basis, so it helps to apply early.
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!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."