Low-Income Assistance Programs
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE BIG HEART GRANT
Many customers were sent a letter stating their account was automatically credited through our Big Heart Grant. Unfortunately, an error caused this letter to be sent to some customers who did not automatically qualify for the grant. We are working to notify customers who received this letter in error, and sincerely apologize for the confusion this has caused. If you received this letter, you may still be eligible for the Big Heart Grant. Call Customer Service at 888-522-1130 to find out if you qualify. For a correct account balance, please refer to your next Cascade Natural Gas bill or log in to your CNGC online account here.
Big Heart Grant Debt Relief Program to Help Customers with Past Due Balances
Washington Customers: The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on March 25 approved a debt relief program to benefit Cascade Natural Gas Washington residential customers with past-due balances who are experiencing financial hardship. Cascade will have $2.5 million available through its newly created Big Heart Grant program.
Customers are eligible if they earn no more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and individual customers can receive up to $2,500 per year in additional bill assistance. Customers who received energy assistance in the past may automatically receive a grant to forgive account balances due, up to the $2,500 annual limit. Eligible customers who have not received energy assistance should call our customer service center at
888-522-1130 for more information or to apply.
The Big Heart Grant Program is in addition to all other grants, including from federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance programs and Cascade’s Washington Energy Assistance Fund.
Oregon Customers: The Oregon Public Utilities Commission on March 25 approved a debt relief program to benefit Cascade Natural Gas Oregon residential customers who are experiencing financial hardship and have past-due balances.
Oregon customers can call the company’s customer service center at 888-522-1130 for more information, or to enroll in the program. Cascade’s newly created Big Heart Grant program has two avenues to receive a grant:
- Automatic Hardship Grant – Designed for customers with a history of receiving low-income bill pay assistance. Qualified customers will automatically receive a one-time grant equal to the amount of their total past due balance up to $1,500.
- Financial Hardship Grant – Designed for customers who have not received energy assistance in the last 24 months but are experiencing financial hardship. Cascade Natural Gas will determine the qualified customer’s benefit amount based on household size, income, and account balance. The grant, not to exceed $1,500, will be applied to the customer’s past due balance.
Receiving this assistance does not disqualify customers from receiving further assistance, or assistance from other organizations.
Hardship grants now available for Washington customers through the Cascade WEAF Program
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) today approved temporary changes to Cascade Natural Gas’s Washington Energy Assistance Fund (WEAF) to provide aid to customers who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residential natural gas customers having trouble paying their bills will be able to apply for hardship grants of up to $400 from current WEAF funds, and the existing cap of $500 per program year per household has been lifted.
Additionally, the low-income verification requirement to qualify for Cascade’s WEAF program has been relaxed so that customers experiencing a sudden loss of income can receive aid quickly.
Oregon Legislature Allocates $15 million for Coronavirus Relief Funds
The Oregon legislature recently allocated $15 million for energy assistance. To qualify for assistance, households must meet 80% of area median income. We have provided links to each county’s area median income guidelines. Please click the name of your county of residence to view specific guidelines.
Energy assistance for low-income households
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income households pay part of their energy bills. You can find out if you’re eligible for this program and apply for help at one of the state agencies below. Please note, these guidelines are updated periodically, so be sure to check back regularly.
Income guidelines for LIHEAP
Our LIHEAP brochure will also provide income guidelines,essential energy assistance facts and contact information in your area:
Cascade Natural Gas is pleased to partner with the Weatherization Assistance Programs in Washington and Oregon. These community action and low income agencies offer free home weatherization and energy efficiency improvements to income-qualified residential dwellings heated with natural gas. Please contact your Energy Assistance Agency for additional information or to apply for weatherization assistance.
Participant qualification, energy reviews, and installation are performed by a community action agency. Potential improvements (following a complete home energy review) include:
- Insulation in attics, walls, and floors
- Insulation around duct work and hot water pipes
- Sealing air leaks in the building, especially around windows and doors
- Clean, tune, and repair heating and cooling systems and, if necessary, replace existing systems with high-efficiency natural gas furnaces and water heaters
Energy Assistance Funds
Oregon: If you are a customer in Oregon, funds are collected through a Public Purpose Charge (PPC) each month on your gas bill. These funds are used for conservation and renewable energy projects, schools, low-income weatherization, low-income housing and low-income utility bill assistance. Oregon customers may apply for available funds through the Energy Assistance Agencies listed below.
Washington: If you are a customer in Washington, funds are collected through the Schedule 593, Washington Energy Assistance Fund (WEAF) Program Cost Recovery charge to assist qualified low income customers with utility bill assistance. Washington customers may apply for available funds through the Energy Assistance Agencies listed below.
Winter Help is our own program for helping Cascade Natural Gas customers. We’ve helped more than 10,000 families since starting the program in 1989.
When you contribute to Winter Help, we will match each dollar donated up to a total of $50,000. Contributions are tax-deductible and guaranteed to be used in your community.
If you would like to contribute a one-time donation or a monthly pledge amount, please complete the Winter Help form and mail it with gas payment or mail the completed form with your donation to:
Cascade Natural Gas
P.O. Box 7608
Boise, ID 83707-1608
If you are including your donation on your payment stub, please remember to check the box, as noted on your stub, for your donation to be applied correctly. Winter Help is registered under the Charitable Solicitations Act in Washington. Financial disclosure information may be obtained at 360-725-0378.
Energy and Weatherization Assistance Agencies
Community Action Programs of Eastern-Central Oregon
Application available on their website or by mail
721 SE 3rd, Suite D
Pendleton, OR 97801
Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties
Application available on their website or by phone
3020 Willamette Dr NE
Lacey, WA 98516
Community Action Agency of Skagit County
Application available on their website or by phone (8:30a, first Wednesday of each month)
330 Pacific Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273