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Energy Assistance Programs

Sometimes people need a little extra help. We designed our assistance programs to give our customers just that.

  • Avista partners with local community action agencies to offer help with weatherization, heating system improvements and financial assistance to customers who qualify.
  • Our CARES Program aids customers facing hardships through a variety of ways; the elderly, the disabled, and customers who find themselves in difficulty due to health, employment, family or other problems. We can provide assistance in understanding energy bills, payment arrangements, advice on budgeting and make referrals to community agencies that can also help. To speak to an Avista CARES representative, call (800) 227-9187.
  • Energy Assistance Grants are available for limited-income and low-income customers. These funds are distributed to qualifying customers through SNAP in Spokane County and other local community agencies. They are made available through a combination of electric and natural gas tariff surcharges (Washington and Oregon only), government grants, and donations. The purpose of these programs is to reduce the energy cost burden among customers who are least able to pay energy bills.
  • Project Share Grants provide energy assistance for families in our region.¬†They are created by contributions to the Project Share fund from our customers, as well as directly from Avista and Avista employees. Customers can contact their community action agency to see if they are eligible.
  • Our Senior Outreach Programs, in Washington state only, is designed to help seniors facing the unexpected hardships of higher energy bills. These programs are intended to reach customers who are having difficulty making their monthly budget stretch to cover their bills. We want you to know there are options for seniors.
  • The Rate Discount Pilot Program, in Washington state only, is designed to help seniors and disabled customers on a fixed income:
    • Begins October 1, 2015 and will end September 30, 2017
    • Limited to 800 customers (700 in Spokane County and 100 in Stevens, Lincoln and Ferry counties)
    • Available for limited-income seniors and disabled customers that are living on a fixed income, between 126-200% of the Federal Poverty Level
    • This program is only available through SNAP and Rural Resources for customers in Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln and Ferry counties
    • To be considered for eligibility for this program, please contact:
      • SNAP at (509)¬†319-3020 (Spokane County), or you can email your inquiry to SNAP at:, or visit any SNAP office to get information:

        • Armory Energy Office - Downtown location - 212 W. Second
        • Valley Energy Office - 10814 E. Broadway
        • Northeast Energy Office - 4001 N. Cook
      • Rural Resources at (509) 685-6000 (Stevens, Lincoln and Ferry Counties)

In addition to all our other programs, Avista wants our customers to know about the other services that are available for families who qualify.

  • If you worked last year, you may qualify for a federal Earned Income Tax Credit, and you can get free tax preparation to help file for it. See if you qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit and find free tax preparation assistance in your area.
  • Also check out Taxpayer Advocate Service as a resource if you need additional support regarding your taxes.
  • For free and confidential information and referral for food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more, learn about local 2-1-1 by looking it up here.

Eligibility and guidelines

Eligibility and guidelines for assistance programs are determined by federal and state guidelines. To determine program eligibility, you may be required to provide the following:

  • documents to verify your proof of address, income and social security number
  • your current heating bill or lease agreement
  • other similar documents

Please work closely with the agency that is verifying your eligibility to ensure you have everything you need to be prepared for your appointment. Customers are encouraged to contact their local community agency to determine their eligibility.

Customers are also reminded that they should continue to pay their bill until an energy grant has been posted to their account.

View a sample of assistance guidelines by state:

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