Utility Bill Assistance



Kentucky Utilities WinterCare Energy Bill Donation Assistance Fund

Kentucky Utilities uses contributions from customers, as well as their own matching grants, to provide assistance to customers for their utility and winter heating bills. The money is raised from the generous donations of the community at large. Many local businesses also contribute and some non-profits or church groups hold fund raisers in an effort to raise additional funds for the program.

The companies encourage customers to help less fortunate members of the community and those that may have difficulty paying their wintertime heating bills. The money raised, and given to the less fortunate, can supplement what customers may receive from LIHEAP as well. There is a formal application process so the money will be put to good use. Most of it is targeted as KU families that are facing a one time crisis, and this therefore does not operate the same way as some long term, government benefit program.

While the amount donated by the community will vary each and every year, over the last several years it has averaged almost one million dollars, with a significant amount of that coming directly from Kentucky Utilities.

The WinterCare Fund is operated by third-party nonprofit organizations. They process all applications, administer funding, and ensure the money raised gets to those who need help and support. They are locally based organizations. These non-profits work with Kentucky Utilities to assist customers that are facing a crisis or some type of emergency situation.

In order to contribute, note that residential customers may donate to the assistance program by making either a recurring monthly contribution, a one-time contribution, or a monthly pledge. They can even decide to so called round up the payment to the next whole dollar on their monthly bill, and that excess will go towards making a difference to the less fortunate. If you do contribute, the contribution will be tax deductible.

On the other hand, if you need help for your bills, then eligibility for heating bill assistance benefits is determined by a number of Kentucky based the third-party nonprofit organizations. The programs and agencies, including WinterCare, assist families that lack resources or that are in dire financial situations. The goal is to try to help to ensure that a family with no heat or facing a disconnection can get help in paying their utility bills. Many people in Kentucky that benefit may have a family member who is very young, elderly, seriously ill or disabled.

Kentucky Utilities also will, in most cases, match customers' donations to the WinterCare Energy Assistance Fund. Call their customer service department to ensure they are aware of your contribution you make. As long as the company is notified, KU will match your donation and forward the amount directly to the regional agencies who process the applications and administer the funds.

Call 1-800-981-0600 to apply for assistance or contribute.



By: Jon McNamara


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