EWEB adds $660K to help people pay heating bills, seeks donations

Press release from EWEB

Following three weeks of uncommonly cold weather, the Eugene Water & Electric Board will devote an additional $660,000 to its low-income assistance program to lend a hand to customers in need.

The extra $660,000 in low-income funding is on top of the $1.7 million the utility budgets at the start of each heating season to help those who meet income eligibility guidelines, and also customers who have lost their jobs. Customers who have lost their jobs and are receiving state unemployment benefits can receive a $200 bill credit, regardless of income.

EWEB is taking additional steps to help customers impacted by the extremely cold weather. Low-income customers who received bill-payment assistance last year will receive notification in the mail during the next few days that EWEB has automatically credited their accounts the normal $200 annual assistance. This expedited assistance for more nearly 3,400 households, rather than requiring those customers to re-apply for assistance.

Income-eligible customers who did not receive bill assistance in the past year will have to apply. For a list of locations and how to apply, go to: www.eweb.org/assistance

While EWEB’s funding for low-income and job loss assistance is one of the highest in the nation on a per capita basis, it cannot serve everyone in need. The utility is asking customers who are able to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and donate to the Customer Care programs. Donations can help provide senior and low-income customers with the basic necessities of water and electricity. Recipients of financial aid credit the program with allowing them to spend more on non-energy necessities such as food, prescription drugs and health care.

Anyone interested can make a one-time donation by sending a check payable to “Customer Care” when they pay their next bill. Customers can also make a donation with a Visa or MasterCard by calling EWEB at 541-685-7000. Customers enrolled in EWEB e-Billing can set up a one-time or recurring donation on the online “Pay Bills” page.