Utility Bill Assistance



Information on the Reliant Energy CARE assistance program

One of the main Reliant Energy assistance programs is Community Assistance from Reliant Energy, or CARE. It uses donations from customers, social service agencies, corporate contributions, employees and others to assist customers facing a crisis with their utility bills.

Many people are faced with difficult situations from time to time. A one time cash payment can be paid out as part of CARE. The assistance provided can help people make ends meet and deal with a difficult period. Several non-profit social service agencies, churches and other groups work with Reliant to administer the program.

Funding comes from contributions and generous donations from the community. Thousands of families across the state and service territory have donated to it at one time or another. It provides people a great way to help the less fortunate, and your donation will also have a tax benefit as it can be deducted from your income taxes.

Much of the assistance is paid out during the summer, and that is also when contributions are needed. Everyone knows how unbearable the Texas heat can become. Having some type of electricity during those months is critical to staying safe. This is even more true for children and senior citizens. So Reliant Energy offers this assistance program to keep people cool during these hot months.

While funding will change, in some years over one million dollars, much of it donated, has been committed to help senior citizens and qualified low income families pay their summer electric bills. The money is even more needed as the amount of the bill will most likely increase with the temperatures.






To apply for the CARE program, there will be conditions. They may include the following. Money will usually be available from July 1 until September 30 each year and there are income restrictions in place. While the amount can change, it can include the applicant can't make more than a 125 percent above the regional and Texas poverty level. Families or individuals that use food stamps may also be able to qualify. Those who enroll must be able to pay a portion of the utility bill on their own as well. Those customers that meet the agency criteria receive a one-time annual donation/cash grant.

Many who enroll are also offered payment plans. If so, then Reliant will not disconnect your services as long you meet certain qualifications and stay on the plan.

As noted, the program is paid for by corporate contributions, fund raisers and customer donations. Reliant will also contribute their own funds. It is a key service to help pay for electricity during difficult times. It is effective in leaving the lights and power on for customers who are low-income, in critical care, or elderly. It assists the most vulnerable among us.

Other assistance programs include Beat the Heat cooling centers, government aid from CEAP and more. To donate money, learn more, or apply dial 1-866-Reliant.


By: Jon McNamara


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