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More families can qualify for IID help with electric bills

Imperial Irrigation District, your local, non-profit, public power provider, wants all of its low-income customers to know that help with your monthly electric bill is available from the utility.

IID’s income-qualified customers can receive a 20 percent discount on their electric bill each month. The monthly discount is even higher (30 percent) if you are a senior citizen age 62 or older and your income qualifies you for the program.

For many families, these discounts can make a big difference, especially during the harsh, summer months when energy usage, and energy bills, are the highest.

In the past year, the IID Board of Directors took two major actions to provide more help to low-income customers.

First, the board approved changing the age to qualify as a senior citizen from age 65 to 62 – so more people can qualify for the 30 percent discount. The board also increased the allowable income limit to qualify for assistance to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. This means that low-income customers can earn more and still qualify for the IID discount.

“For many families, getting help with their energy bills can really make a difference,” said Erik Ortega, IID board president. “With the increase in the maximum level of income to qualify and the change to allow more seniors to qualify, we hope more customers will participate.”

The program is called IID Residential Energy Assistance Program, or REAP. You can qualify for this reduction in your electric bill if your annual income meets the following guidelines:

  • 1-2 in household, $32,920.
  • 3 in household, $41,560.
  • 4 in household, $50,200.
  • 5 in household, $58,840.
  • For each additional person, add $8,640.

This applies to all income-qualified IID customers, even those who may live in a mobile home park that has a master meter. If your income qualifies you for the REAP program, IID will see that the discount is passed on to you.

One thing customers should also be aware of is that funds for the REAP program come from the 2.85% Public Benefits Charge, which is a fee collected by all IID customers on their electric bill. So, if you qualify, you should consider taking advantage of these programs.

Customers, however, must regularly apply. While the district is working to increase the awareness and participation in the program (by conducting signup assistance at senior citizen complexes in the Imperial and Coachella valleys), customers who qualify for the 20 percent discount must reapply annually and seniors must reapply every two years. It’s the customer’s responsibility to reapply.

Applying is easy.  Visit www.iid.com to download an application or stop by an IID customer service center near you for an application. Or, for more information, please contact a REAP representative at 1-760-339-9032 or IID’s Customer Service toll-free number at 1-800-303-7756.

In addition to the REAP monthly assistance program, IID also offers both an emergency energy assistance program (for customers who are in danger of being disconnected due to non-payment), and an assistance program for customers who require energy for medical devices. To qualify for both of these programs, however, customers must first be enrolled in the REAP program.

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