No one should have to choose between paying their utility bill and life’s other basic necessity. The following is a list of state-wide and local resources aimed at providing financial assistance to customers who are struggling to make utility payments. In addition to the resources listed below, the PSC encourages consumers to seek out alternative forms of support such as family and friends, community organizations, and churches.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)
LIEAP is a federally funded program that pays part of winter energy bills based on the applicant’s financial eligibility. The assistance is available to both homeowners and renters during the winter heating season, which is October 1 through April 30 of each year. The application does require proof of income and a copy of the power bills. Additional information and application information can be found HERE.
Some, but not all, of Montana utility companies provide a discount to LIEAP recipients.
Energy Share a private non-profit organization, helps Montanans faced with energy emergencies meet their needs by looking at the entire situation, not just the applicant’s income, so they can also assist those who may not be eligible for other assistance. More information regarding Energy Share can be found HERE. To apply for Energy Share heating assistance, or for additional information, contact the local Human Resource Development Council in your area, or call toll free at 888-779-7589.
- Energy Share has a program that will replace inefficiently operating refrigerators for seniors or disabled people who own their homes. This program also replaces non-working water heaters in certain circumstances.
- Energy West and Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) fund a program for customers who have unsafe furnaces or water heaters. The appliance will be examined and repaired if possible or replaced when necessary.
- Energy West and Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) fund a weatherization program for their customers to increase energy savings by conducting cost-effective weatherization measures for qualifying customers.
Natural gas customers in the Great Falls area can take advantage of Energy West's zero interest loan program, which is offered through First Interstate Bank for gas appliances, including furnaces and water heaters. Contact Energy West at 1-800-570-5688 for program information.
Call 211 to find out about additional options. 211 call centers provide referrals and information regarding local resources, such as local help agencies and churches.