Utilities and Internet
(Updated June 4, 2020)
Energy Assistance Funding Available to Lane County Residents – Program Opens June 8 at 9 a.m.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal office of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released energy assistance funding for income-qualified households. A total of $575,000 has been made available for Lane County residents.
This funding, known as LIHEAP CARES, is intended to assist households that have been impacted by COVID19, either financially or due to health. This funding is separate from the pre-existing Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and households that have already received LIHEAP funding between October 1, 2019 and the present are encouraged to apply for LIHEAP CARES. The program provides qualifying households with a one-time payment toward their energy bill. It may be applied to electricity, natural gas, home heating oil, propane, wood pellets and wood.
To qualify for LP20 CARES, a household’s current gross monthly income must be at or below 60 percent of Oregon’s median income. A household of one person can have a gross monthly income as high as $2,165. A household of four can have a gross monthly income of $4,163.
The amount of assistance a household receives depends on a number of factors. The program pays the assistance directly into a household’s utility account as a one-time payment that ranges from $250-$550.
Households may place themselves on the waiting list for funding beginning on Monday, June 8. See complete program details and contact information.
- Eugene Water & Electric Board
Attention: EWEB Customer Care Applications Re-open June 1 at 9 a.m.
EWEB offers $260 in bill assistance annually to eligible customers. Apply online, by phone or by mail beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 1, to be considered for the allocation of funds that is made available on the first day of each month. EWEB is not disconnecting customers during the state of emergency and is also suspending late fees. EWEB is also deferring residential or commercial energy efficiency loan payments. Visit EWEB’s website or call 541-685-7000.
- Northwest Natural Gas
Northwest Natural Gas is not disconnecting customers or charging late fees during the state of emergency. Learn more on Northwest Natural Gas’ website or call 800-422-4012.
- Blachy Lane Energy Co-Op
Blachy Lane is asking customers who are having difficulty paying bills to contact their customer service line at 541-688-8711.
- Emerald People’s Utility District
EPUD is asking customers who are having difficulty paying bills to contact their customer service line at 541-746-1583 to inquire about assistance programs.
- Energy Assistance Programs
The Lane County Human Services Division administers six different energy assistance programs for residents of Lane County. Energy Assistance programs provide a payment directly onto the applicant’s utility or energy account.
Keep Americans Connected
In order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of COVID-19, many telecommunications providers have joined the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge to:
- Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic
- Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic
- Open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them
- Free Wi-Fi
Find a list of all of Oregon’s free Wi-Fi hotspots.
Through June 30, eligible new customers can sign up to receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive internet adoption program for low-income households. For qualified low-income families, the service normally costs $9.95/month. The company will also open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them (see a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots). Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the "xfinitywifi" network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser. Comcast has also agreed to waive late fees and to not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and to not charge for data, over the next 60 days.
CenturyLink is suspending limits on data usage, will waive late fees, and won’t terminate a residential or small business customer’s service for the next 60 days if the user is suffering financial challenges associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Oregon Lifelife
Oregon Lifeline is a federal and state government program that reduces the monthly cost of phone or broadband services for qualifying low-income Oregon households.