For help paying your power bill in Alabama, there are a few federally funded and nonprofit programs that can provide assistance. In order to qualify for most programs, you must exhibit extreme financial hardship and supply evidence of your claims when you apply. However, there are assistance programs available that appeal to various income levels and circumstances.
The Alabama Public Service Commission launched a joint initiative with Alabama Power Co. to help low-income families incapable of paying their power bills. Project SHARE donates $500,000 annually to programs such as the Red Cross and other nonprofit groups that help low income families pay their utility bills. This program caters to elderly, disabled and low-income families. To apply, complete a Project SHARE assistance application at the American Red Cross in your county or enroll in the program at the Alabama Power website (see Resources).
Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the weatherization assistance program, which provides energy assistance to low-income families in all counties across Alabama. The program is federally funded and aims to reduce energy bills via HVAC system repairs, light bulb replacement, ductwork sealing, health and safety checks, and other energy mitigating services. To qualify for the program, applicants must be at least 200 percent below the poverty level. You may complete a pre-screening application online to determine where you should apply for assistance (see Resources).
Alabama Community Action Agency Association Energy Assistance
An alliance of 23 community action agencies offer energy assistance and emergency relief to low- and moderate-income families across all counties in Alabama. If you do not qualify for energy assistance programs that provide services to extremely low-income families, or you family is need of immediate assistance, you may be able to find help with a local community action agency. To apply, find the nearest agency and arrange an appoint to apply by phone, fax or in person.
Utility Discount Programs
If you do not qualify for low-income energy assistance programs, contact your power company directly and ask for a utility discount. The company may request that you demonstrate financial hardship by supplying income statements and copies of your expenses. If you are a public assistance recipient, contact your power company and ask whether it provides utility discounts for customers who receive public assistance. If your power company does not provide utility discounts, request an extension or partial-payment agreement to provide time to cover the full amount of your bill.