- Electric and natural gas utility COVID-19 assistance programs
- Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program agencies (LIHEAP)
- Federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)
- Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit
- Washington Public Utilities District Association (WPUDA)
- Washington State Department of Commerce
If you are struggling to pay overdue utility bills you have options, but you need to take action now. Call your utility today and ask them about:
- COVID-19 assistance funds
- Payment plans
- Budget billing
If you need help talking to your utility, call the UTC at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) and we can help. You can also read our consumer alert for more information.
COVID-19 Assistance Funds
The UTC approved $40 million in COVID-19 assistance funds to help energy and natural gas customers struggling with their utility bills. Call your utility now to see if you are eligible, even if you've already received other assistance, or have been denied assistance before.
You can also talk to your company about setting up a payment plan, to help you spread out the cost of the overdue bills over a period of time. This will help you avoid disconnection after Sept. 30, and help you get back on track.
Utility Assistance Funds
In addition to the COVID-19 assistance funds, many utilities have other assistance programs for low-income customers. Give your company a call to find out what you might be eligible for.
Water and Broadband
For help with water and wastewater bills, the federal Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) has grants available. The FCC also offers the Emergency Broadband Benefit to help households afford internet service during the pandemic.
Utility Disconnection Ban Ends Sept. 30
A UTC order currently bans the five private, investor-owned energy utilities in Washington from disconnecting service for overdue bills until Sept. 30, 2021.
Additionally, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation, Ratepayer Assistance and Preservation of Essential Services, banning all energy, water, and telecommunications companies in Washington from disconnecting service. This proclamation is currently set to expire Sept. 30, 2021.
Temporary pause on late fees and service disconnects
While energy companies are currently banned from disconnecting service or charging late fees through Sept. 30, 2021, customers are still responsible for their unpaid balances. Once the ban ends, you will have to pay any amount that you owe or you could face disconnection or additional charges.
If you will not be able to pay, contact your utility or call us at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) as soon as possible.
A full list of assistance programs by electric or natural gas utilities is available from the Dept. of Commerce. You can also apply for federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants, find your local agency here.
Map of Customers with Overdue Balances in Washington
View an interactive map of Energy Company Customer Arrearages map by zip code. This information is provided by the investor-owned utilities, and shows overdue balances across the state.
Watch out for scammers pretending to be your utility company. If someone calls you and threatens to shut off your service without an immediate payment, hang up and call the number on your bill. Your utility company will never shut off your service without official written notice.
Who we regulate
The commission regulates private investor-owned electric and natural gas companies, telephone companies (excluding broadband), and private water companies.
If you call us with questions about a utility that we don't regulate, we will try to connect you to someone who can help.
- For Public Utility Districts (PUDs), contact the Washington Public Utilities District Association (WPUDA).
- For government/city owned utilities, contact the Washington State Department of Commerce.