February 19, 2016—Orcas Power & Light Co-op (OPALCO) in Washington State is offering a new pilot program this year to help low-income customers manage increases in energy costs. The program, called “Energy Assist,” provides a monthly $10 - $25 credit throughout the year to customers who also meet qualifications for other programs such as Federal Free Lunch, LIHEAP or OPALCO’s other assistance program, Project PAL.
The program is funded through a new line item charge that began appearing on all OPALCO customers’ bills in January. The average cost for a residential household is $0.45 a month. OPALCO’s other low-income assistance program, Project PAL, is funded through a voluntary “round-up” of customers’ bills and through one-time donations. Project PAL provides a one-time per year winter grant that averages around $150 per low-income household.
Customers who qualify for the Energy Assist Program will also qualify for Project PAL. Applications are available online. Paper copies may also be picked up at OPALCO’s offices or from Family Resource and Senior Centers.
Sources: OPALCO website, Press Release