Energy Assistance

Community Action assists low-income households with their heating and electricity costs. The program operates year-round using federal, state and private funding. Assistance availability depends on funding cycles, donations received and type of requests. Funds are limited so there may be times when immediate assistance is not available.

How is eligibility determined?
Households are eligible when their total gross income is 60 percent or less than the statewide average median income as determined by the State of Oregon.

How is payment made?
Payment is made directly to the fuel vendor (electric, oil, propane, wood or gas company). If heat is included in rent, applicants can be paid directly. Direct payments can also be made to applicants who have already purchased their winter supply of fuel. It generally takes 3 to 6 weeks after the application is made before payment is received.

What are the income guidelines?
Eligibility is based on the total gross household income received by all members living in the home at the time of application. This means that families sharing a dwelling must apply as one unit. Income includes: wages, unemployment compensation, TANF payments, Social Security, SSI, pensions, VA, grants and other regular payments. It does not include food stamps, loans, subsidies, etc.

How much help will I receive?
Assistance payment amounts are based on total household income, the number of people in the house and type of fuel they use. This is usually a one-time payment for the year. Under extreme circumstances, however, some households may qualify for additional assistance. When people are not eligible, we will help them work with their fuel vendors or refer them to other available services.

How do I apply?
After an initial pre-screening by phone or email, if it appears likely that you are eligible for assistance, you will be given an appointment for an intake interview.
For the interview, you must bring the following information: names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers (if available), ID for all adults in the household, proof of income for the past 30 days for all adults living in the household, and your current heating (electric & gas) bills with account number or proof of purchase of other fuel such as oil, wood, or propane.
Some outreach services are available for homebound seniors and people with disabilities. Translation services may also be available for non-English speakers.

Energy Education

Community Action offers energy conservation education for eligible households. Resources include written materials, one-on-one counseling, and group workshops focusing on energy conservation techniques. Families may apply for these free services to help them lower their utility bills and stay warmer and healthier throughout the year.

Energy Assistance Tips

  • If you get behind on your bill, call the utility company to arrange a time payment plan. You might be able to arrange a payment agreement that is more affordable.
  • Let the utility company know you are seeking assistance from an energy assistance program.
  • Make minimum payments as much as you possibly can.
  • Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or as low as possible during the day. Set it at 50 to 55 degrees at night and when you are gone.
  • Heating your house with a fireplace or the oven is dangerous, costly and ineffective.
  • Turn your lights and appliances off when they're not being used, especially your TV.
  • Apply for Community Action's cost-free energy conservation services.
  • Inquire about our energy education workshops.

More Information on the Web

  • A tool offered to Portland General Electric customers as a way to analyze energy use and create a savings plan.

  • A free, confidential and anonymous service for finding other programs and resources in your community.

  • Ensures that safe and reliable utility services are provided to consumers, and serves as a neutral third-party to assess and address customer complaints.

  • Serves the public interest through developing, overseeing, evaluating and promoting an area-wide cable communication system, and acts as a neutral third-party to assess and address customer complaints as they relate to telecommunications providers.