Utility Bill Assistance



Columbus Light & Water Share One utility bill assistance

Donations from the public, the company, and local corporations are all used as part of Columbus Light & Water Share One to help the less fortunate keep their power on. There may be assistance used for paying electric bills, gas costs, heating bills, and other utilities, and Helping Hands administers the program.

The program is called one of 2 names. It is Operation Round Up or Neighbor to Neighbor. The two names are often associated with Share One, and while similar, they mean slightly different things. The differences are as follows.

Neighbor to Neighbor means that the donated money is used to focus only on paying utility bills of people from the immediate community. So the funds stay local, and help the elderly, disabled, and other less fortunate.

Operation Round Up is the way to donate, and when a person or business enrolls, their monthly utility bill is rounded up to the next highest dollar amount. That extra amount is then donated to the public as part of Share One.

Columbus Light & Water supports the program as well using corporate coffers and employees. They match other donated funds. The most that will be given to the program is capped each year, but it can be thousands of dollars. Once again, these are matching funds of other donations, but in any case all of the money goes to pay utility bills.

What is needed to apply for Columbus Light & Water Share One

First and foremost is a crisis. This is an emergency program in which only a small number of qualified customers are assisted. It is for exceptional needs, and is not a long term benefit. But the money can pay some of what a customer may owe in their utilities, and therefore get the household back on track.






The aid from Columbus Light & Water Share One is generally combined with many other solutions. There are payment plans, abatements, grants from LIHEAP, free conservation workshops, and much more. So the donations for paying energy bills from this program is but one option given to the customer...it is not the last one used in order to assist someone.

There will be an application process, including a possible interview. Staff from Columbus Light & Water work with local social service agencies to both distribute the funds and to help with the application process. So it involved various partners.

For the application, bring proof of residency as well as copies of identification for all household members. This can include social security cards or birth certificates. The income should come from all sources, including a job, benefits including SSI disability or food stamps, and child support.

Also bring copies of old utility bills and statements, doctor notices if there is a medical issue, death certificate, etc. Anything that is relevant. Priority for any heating bill help is usually for the elderly to keep them warm, and homes with children are also a priority.

After the application has been reviewed, funds will be disbursed as part of Columbus Light & Water Share One. The assistance goes directly to the company and cash is not paid out. This will in effect lower the customers outstanding bill and help them get back on track. Then other options, including those payment plans, will be assessed.

For more information on applying for help, or donating to Columbus Light & Water Share One, call the Helping Hands company at 662-328-8301. As noted there are multiple ways to apply as well as to receive energy bill assistance from it.