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Northwest Natural Gas assistance programs.

The programs provided by Northwest Natural Gas are wide ranging. They range from payment plans to cash grants as part of state and federal government assistance. There are also non-profit organizations in both Washington and Oregon that can offer financial help to Northwest Natural Gas customers.

If you have a balance on your account, then the Level Payment Plan may be able to help. It is basically an installment type program that a customer will agree to. For example, you can pay 1/12 of the total balance due on your account. In addition to that, the Level Payment Plan requires people to pay an equal installment on their unpaid bills each and every month until the customer’s account balance is paid off at the end of the one year cycle.

There are a number of conditions to this Northwest Natural Gas plan, and the amount due could change without notice if the cost of fuel or your overall usage changes. Customers will also need to be sure to abide by all of the terms of their agreement.

A similar Northwest Natural Gas resource is known as Current Bill Plus Plan. Customers in the service territory of Oregon and other regions can pay 1/12 of the balance on their account every month until it is paid off in full. This may be a good option as a lower initial payment may be required. It can also help people budget much more effectively. It can be successful as a household’s energy bills can be unpredictable and they vary according to the seasons and really the customer’s usage each month.

Current Bill Plus is a specialized plan for customers with a past due balance. It allows a lower income or fixed income customer to pay off the balance over the year. However as with most other assistance programs, people do need to remain current on any new bills they incur over time.

Low Income Energy Assistance is offered to Northwest Natural Gas customers and others from the federal government from programs such as LIHEAP. Qualified very low or fixed income customers (such as seniors or retirees) are the main beneficiaries. A grant can be offered to those individuals that that need financial assistance for paying their home energy bills. Applicant's will need to need to meet state of Oregon and/or federal government energy assistance eligibility qualifications and requirements.





While the income levels can change from year to year, as well as available funding, in general people who benefit are those households whose total household income falls within the established income range set by the State of Oregon or Washington. They will generally be related to the Federal government poverty levels. Both your household size, number of family members and income levels are taken into consideration. Also homeowners and renters can apply for energy bill assistance from this federal program. Electricity bills, gas, propane, and other types of fuel may be paid for, including anything that is offered by Northwest Natural Gas. Call your local Community Action or agency on aging center in order to apply and get more details.

If you need more time to pay, then look into the Northwest Natural Gas Extend Payment Due Date program. It will provide a customer with additional time to bring their account current so that their service is not shut off. Extend the date on the payment of your current utility bill due.

Equal Pay/Budget billing provides families a simple way to budget and plan. It will help bring sanity to your finances or monthly payments. No matter how cold or hot it gets in Washington or Oregon, your Northwest Natural Gas bill will remain the same amount every month and will not increase or decrease with the changing temperatures.

Your annual usage will be estimated and then divided into equal payments. The gas you actually use is still measured and shown on your bill each month. If you use more natural gas than is initially estimated by the first measurement, then you will be billed for the difference every several months. Or if you use less gas, then the customer is offered a credit on their account.

To learn more about these Northwest Natural Gas programs or get information on other resources, call 800-422-4012.




By Jon McNamara

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