- Utility Assistance Washington State Department of Commerce
- 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 Rental Assistance programs (can be applied to utilities)
- Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit
- Washington Public Utilities District Association (WPUDA)
Note: The UTC does not provide rental assistance. Anyone with questions about rental assistance in Thurston County should reach out to the Thurston County Manager or call the Department of Commerce at 360-725-4000.
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. Companies can disconnect customers for nonpayment - call today to avoid disconnection.
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.
Temporary Pause on Late Fees and Deposits
Energy companies are currently banned from charging late fees, disconnect fees, reconnect fees, or deposits. Customers are still responsible for their unpaid balances and utilities are able to disconnect service for customers with overdue bills.
If you have overdue bills, contact your utility today to discuss options like assistance funds or payment plans to avoid disconnection.
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.