KENNEWICK, WASH. – Sept. 28, 2023 – Cascade Natural Gas, with approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, will implement the Cascade Arrearage Relief and Energy Savings (CARES) program. The new bill discount and arrearage relief program goes into effect on Oct. 1. It is designed to help customers who need assistance paying their Cascade Natural Gas bill.
Cascade Natural Gas customers previously received energy assistance through the Washington Energy Assistance Fund (WEAF), which expires on Sept. 30. A new law passed by the Washington legislature now shifts that financial help to the CARES program, which is funded by all Cascade customers, similar to WEAF.
The CARES program gives Cascade customers energy savings through a monthly discount on their natural gas bill to provide affordable bills year-round. The discount is based on self-declared household income and the number of residents in the household. Cascade customers with past-due balances who participate in CARES may also receive a grant of up to $1,000 to reduce or eliminate those balances.
Customers may apply for CARES by calling their local Community Action agency, submitting an online application at www.cngc.com/help, or mailing a paper application to their local Community Action agency. Agency contact information and all application options are available at www.cngc.com/help.
Customers who qualify can expect to see the discount within one to two billing cycles after approval. If customers received energy assistance through a Community Action Agency between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, they don’t need to do anything to receive the bill discount; they will be automatically enrolled. The amount of their discount will be based on the information they provided to their Community Action agency when they previously applied for assistance.
The customer’s discount tier will stay the same for two years unless the customer notifies a Community Action agency that their income or the number of residents in their home has changed. CARES participants can still use all the programs and services offered by their local Community Action agency. Up to 5% of monthly applicants will be randomly selected for income verification to make sure only qualified customers are enrolled and the appropriate benefit is provided to qualified customers.
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