Emergency Assistance Program

Update: As of January 1, 2021 the application window is closed. You can learn about our other payment assistance programs online here.

In response to COVID-19, we’re here to help during this difficult time of uncertainty and financial hardship in our community.

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How we can help

TPU created a $2.4 million fund to help customers experiencing immediate financial crisis with a utility bill credit for eligible households.

Eligibility requirements – the application period closed December 31, 2020

To receive a one-time Emergency Assistance grant, you must:

  • Be a current TPU customer
  • Use the house you’re applying for as your primary residence
  • Have a meter that calculates the use for your household (as opposed to a shared meter for multiple units)
  • Meet the household net income requirements (listed below)

Household size: 1 person

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $2,127

Household size: 2 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $2,874

Household size: 3 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $3,621

Household size: 4 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $4,367

Household size: 5 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $5,114

Household size: 6 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $5,861

Household size: 7 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $6,607

Household size: 8 people

  • Maximum monthly household net income: $7,353

Income maximums for this grant program have been increased to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. TPU’s existing assistance program provides help to households making up to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Grant amounts

The amount of grant assistance you’re eligible for is based on the services TPU bills you for, whether you’re in single or multi-family dwelling, and available funding.

We’ll calculate your grant assistance based on these services and amounts:

  • Electricity – house
    • $150
  • Electricity – apartment
    • $100
  • Drinking water
    • $40
  • Wastewater
    • $30
  • Surface water
    • $10
  • Solid waste
    • $40

Example calculation: If you live in a single-family house, and TPU bills you for electricity ($150), drinking water ($40), wastewater ($30), and surface water ($10), your grant amount would be $230.

What happens after you apply

Once you submit the form, our Customer Solutions team will review it and contact you.

  • Process time: It will take us about two weeks to review and process your application.
  • How and when you’ll hear from us: In about two weeks, we will contact you by your preferred method (indicated on the application) to let you know whether you’re approved or not. You will be contacted either way.
  • How you’ll receive the assistance grant: If you’re approved for emergency assistance, you’ll automatically receive a one-time credit on your utility bill. It will show in the payments section.

Need to make payment arrangements?

Whether you qualify for our Emergency Assistance Program or not, we also offer payment arrangements for up to 12 weeks. Please call 253-502-8600 to learn more.

I am already part of the Bill Credit Assistance Program (BCAP). Will I still be part of that program, and am I able to be part of this new program?

The new Emergency Assistance Program will not impact customers who are part of the existing Bill Credit Assistance Program (BCAP). The Emergency Assistance Program is designed to expand eligibility and make funding available to more customers who are in need during this crisis. If you are already part of the existing BCAP program, you will continue to be part of that program as long as you are eligible.

Looking for other support resources?

The U.S. federal government offers assistance through its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It is designed to help qualifying, low-income households meet their immediate home energy needs. If you are a City of Tacoma resident, you can learn more on the Metropolitan Development Council’s website. If you live outside of Tacoma but in Pierce County, you can learn more on the Pierce County Human Services website. Note: Additional funding may be available due to COVID-19. If you have already received LIHEAP funding this year, you could still be eligible for the additional funds. Contact one of the organizations above for further details.

If you do not qualify for our program or would like to explore other options, we recommend visiting WashingtonConnection.org. A new Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) has been approved as of Friday, April 17.

May 27, 2020: Pierce County allocates $3.8 million to help farmers, seniors and homeowners
The next round of CARES Act funding is on its way to aid Pierce County residents in recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Learn more here.

For up-to-date information about TPU’s response to COVID-19, visit MyTPU.org/COVID19.

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