Help Paying Utilities




Portland General Electric

Customers who are struggling with paying their utility bills can turn to one of three programs offered by Portland General Electric. While each resource will have limited funding, and only income qualified customers will be able to qualify, it is worthwhile to explore the various programs available. Low income programs offered include Oregon HEAT, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP), as well as the Equal Pay Plan. Call PGE at 800-542-8818, or get more information below.

In addition, Portland General Electric also works closely with a number of non-profit agencies and also Oregon and federal government resources. The energy company does want to ensure that as many people as possible can qualify for help.

Portland General Electric and other utility companies have created a resource known as Oregon HEAT. Financial help is provided from this private nonprofit organization. Funds and cash grants may be able to help lower income customers, who are faced with an emergency, pay their winter utility, heating, and energy bills. In addition to funding by PGE and other utility companies, Oregon HEAT also accepts donations from customers and local businesses. So the funding from year to year will depending on how much money was donated. Regardless, the program distributes one-time cash grants through a number of community nonprofit organizations to help pay utility bills. Eligibility is based on the households total income and their need.

The state created the Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP). Portland General Electric fully supports the program. OEAP is funded by an electric meter charge that is mandated by the state. This is a year-round assistance program, and the highest demand is in the winter and summer for cooling bills. The resource is funded by a state-mandated electric meter charge. All PGE customers, both business and residential, pay a monthly meter charge to support this program. To be eligible for help with utility bills from it, applicants need to  meet income guidelines. As with most services that offer help, priority is given to customers who may be in danger of disconnection, with a focus on elderly and families with children.

Federal government funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time annual cash grants to help eligible Portland General Electric households pay their monthly energy bills in the winter or during the summer. The amount of financial assistance provided to low income customers will  vary depending on the type of energy used for your primary heating or cooling source, whether you currently receive subsidized housing, as well as the number of people in your household. Special outreach is provided to PGE customers who are seniors, the disabled and households with young children under six.

The last option is an Equal Payment Plan, or Balanced Billing. This sets up the customer with a payment plan that level sets their utility bills over the course of the year, so it helps with budgeting more than anything else.




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