EUGENE, Ore. – The Eugene Water & Electric Board announced it has more than doubled the amount of funds available for its utility billing assistance program during the coronavirus pandemic, which should allow more people who have lost their jobs to receive assistance. The utility anticipates providing more than $200,000 in billing assistance this May.
Normally, the program provides $260 annually to customers who meet the income requirements for a given household size. In the beginning of April, EWEB expanded the program for customers to obtain the $260 credit by applying and providing proof of income eligibility or unemployment benefits.
EWEB says the fund, which is processed on a first come, first served basis, was exhausted in about an hour on April 1 with 1,000 customers receiving the money.
The next application period opens May 1 at 9 a.m.
“Much like April, we expect the May fund will be committed very quickly due to unprecedented need,” said Anna Wade in EWEB’s Customer Solutions Office. “But EWEB will continue to do our part to help, alongside city, state and federal efforts.”
EWEB says customers should begin preparing to apply on Friday by gathering the necessary documents including account numbers, proof of income eligibility and unemployment benefits. EWEB also recommends applying online to avoid wait times on the phone. Instructions and a video tutorial on how to apply can be found here.
The utility has also temporarily suspended service disconnections and late fees for those who are behind on their utility bills.