Payment Assistance

Whether you are facing a short-term financial issue or are on a limited or fixed income, we understand paying your bills can be challenging at times. To help make your bills more manageable, and to prevent service interruptions, we offer a variety of payment options and programs.

Payment Options and Resources

Payment Arrangements

If you are unable to pay your bill by the due date, log on to MyAccount or call our 24-hour automated customer service line at 253-502-8608 as soon as possible to make payment arrangements. Calling early gives you greater flexibility and helps prevent any disruption in your service.

Budget Billing

You may enroll in Budget Billing if you have had residential service for at least 12 months. This service allows you to pay the same predictable amount for your utilities each month, which can help you create a consistent budget for your utility bills. Under this system, your monthly payments are calculated as follows:

  • We calculate your entire electricity bill for the past 12 months, divide by 12, and round to the nearest whole dollar.
  • We calculate your total water bill for the past 12 months, divide by 12, and round to the nearest whole dollar.
  • We calculate a fixed monthly charge for Solid Waste, Surface Water and Wastewater utility services, if applicable.

Then, every 12 months we will recalculate your monthly charge for the next 12 months based on the previous year’s data. All debits or credits from the previous budget billing term are divided by 12 and applied to next year’s budget amount.

You can enroll in Budget Billing online through MyAccount by doing the following:

  • Select the “Payment options” tab from the menu
  • Select “Budget Billing Plan”
  • Select from the enrollment options and follow the prompts based on your selection
  • Read and accept the terms of agreement for the enrollment
  • Select the “Submit” button

If you have a past due balance you can still enroll in Budget Billing. We will simply build the balance into your monthly payments.

More information about Budget Billing

MyAccount

MyAccount allows you to fully manage your utility account online. You can use it to pay your bill online using a credit or debit card with the Visa, MasterCard or Discover logo, or by transferring money directly from your checking or savings account. You can also track your payments, view your bill and energy usage history, create a Budget Billing plan, enroll in paperless billing and access many other payment and budgeting options. Register or log on to MyAccount.

AutoPay

AutoPay is a convenient payment option that allows you to automatically pay your utilities on a set schedule using a credit or debit card or a bank account. To enroll in AutoPay, log on to MyAccount, select the “Payment tab”, then select the “AutoPay” button and follow the instructions.

Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

A variety of rebate programs, loans and income-eligible grants are available to help offset the upfront costs of making your home or business more energy efficient. Along with making your home more comfortable, these improvements can lower your utility bills for years to come. Learn about all the rebate programs available to you.

Energy Efficiency Tools and Resources

Making your home or business more energy efficient helps reduce your utility bills. Start saving energy and money with the following resources:

Federal Energy Assistance Program

The U.S. federal government offers seasonal 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. This assistance does not require a delinquent balance or shut-off notice.

To qualify for this program, you must be a resident of the state of Washington, and your household must pay for home heating costs either directly or as part of your rent.

To qualify for this benefit, you must meet the following requirement:

Household Size: 1
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $1,265

Household Size: 2
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $1,715

Household Size: 3
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $2,165

Household Size: 4
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $2,615

Household Size: 5
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $3,065

Household Size: 6
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $3,515


For more information about LIHEAP and other programs, contact the following:

TPU and Environmental Services Assistance Programs

TPU and Environmental Services offer two programs to help our low-income customers: the Discount Rate Program and the Bill Credit Assistance Plan. See below for details.

Discount Rate Program

This program gives you a 30% discount on electricity, drinking water, solid waste, recycling and surface water if the following apply to you:

  • You are 62 years or older or currently receiving disability income.
  • You are a single occupant, head of household or spouse of the head of household.
  • Your current home is your primary residence where you live full-time.
  • You have residential, single-metered service (meter cannot be shared with another unit or structure).
  • Your household meets the income guidelines shown in the list below:

Household Size: 1
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $1,561

Household Size: 2
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $2,058

Household Size: 3
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $2,666

Household Size: 4
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $3,219

Household Size: 5
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $3,771

Household Size: 6
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $4,324


Bill Credit Assistance Plan

If your household is eligible for this program, you can receive a utility credit up to $564 annually (amount is based on the number of utility services billed directly through Tacoma Public Utilities). Each time your utility bill is paid in full and on time, a credit is automatically applied to your utility account. To qualify, you must:

  • Have a current TPU account in your name.
  • Live in the dwelling full-time as your primary residence.
  • Have residential, single-metered service (meter cannot be shared with another unit or structure).
  • Meet the household income guidelines shown in the chart above.

How to Apply

To apply for the Discount Rate Program or the Bill Credit Assistance Plan (BCAP), start by completing the Utility Bill Payment Assistance Application. Then submit the application along with information about all members of your household. This includes anyone who lives in your home and uses electricity, water and other utilities whether they are related to you or not.

Please submit copies of the following with your application:

  • Government-issued picture ID for each household member 18 years of age and older.
  • Social Security cards for each person living in the household. Children under 18 years of age who do not have Social Security cards may use a DSHS document that shows household members by name or a certified birth certificate.
  • Income information for the past three months for each member of your household over the age of 18. Acceptable income documents include:
    • Paycheck stubs
    • Child support invoices
    • SSI/SSDI award letter
    • Retirement pension or IRA statements
    • Interest, dividends or annuities statements
    • DSHS documents such as Lifeline/GAU or TANF
    • State Labor and Industry Veterans Affairs statements
    • Unemployment compensation documents
    • Rental property income documents
    • Self-employment income verification
  • If any members of your household are older than 18 and listed as having zero or undeclared income, they can complete a Declaration of Zero or Unreported Income or write a brief letter explaining how they currently meet their basic living needs such as food and shelter.
  • If you are disabled, please provide your most recent SSI or Social Security “Benefit Award” letter to show the amount you are receiving. If you do not have a copy of your current letter, contact the Social Security Administration one of the following ways:

Depending on your situation, you may also be required to submit additional documents including:

How to Submit Your Application

Once you have completed the application and collected all the required documents, you can mail or drop them off in person at:

Tacoma Public Utilities, Customer Solutions Office, 3628 South 35th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409. Walk-in office hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Winter Protection Plan

To prevent service disconnection during winter months, you can enroll in our Winter Protection Plan if your income is at or below the following levels:

Household Size: 1
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $1,265

Household Size: 2
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $1,715

Household Size: 3
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $2,165

Household Size: 4
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $2,615

Household Size: 5
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $3,065

Household Size: 6
Maximum Monthly Household Income: $3,515


Program Details:

  • Effective dates are November 15 through March 15.
  • To qualify, you are required to pay a minimum of 7% of your monthly income plus 1/12 of any unpaid charges on your electric bill.
  • On March 15, when the program ends, you must make arrangements to pay all accumulated charges, including current charges, before October 15.
  • You agree to pay all charges owed, even if you move.
  • The Winter Protection Plan only applies to heating. Water, wastewater, surface water and solid waste charges are not covered under this protection plan.

To apply, please do the following:

1. Contact Making a Difference in Community or Pierce County Human Services to:

  • Request a certification of your household income for the Winter Protection Plan (see chart above).
  • Apply for home heating assistance.
  • Sign up for low-income weatherization assistance if it applies to your home.

2. Bring certification information to TPU’s Customer Solutions Office at 3628 S. 35th St. and ask to enroll in the Winter Protection Plan. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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