Low-Income Energy Assistance in Texas
Whether you need help yourself or are trying to help someone else, Texas has several sources of energy-related assistance. The following information highlights the largest programs. We've also included a link to the LIRAP program, which helps repair and replace vehicles that fail state-mandated emissions tests.
What kind of electric service provider do you have?
The kinds of assistance you can get from your utility company depend on whether you get your electricity from a for-profit company, a city program, or a co-op. The best way to find out your specific options is to call your service provider directly. Your provider may have assistance funds, payment plans, or deadline extensions that you qualify for and should be able to direct you to other local assistance programs.
Typical qualifiers for special assistance programs:
• If you receive Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid or other HHSC benefits
• If you are at or below 125% of federal poverty guidelines
• If your household includes a person who is elderly, disabled, or 6 or younger
Qualifications vary by program; call even if these don’t apply to you!
Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)
The CEAP has various components that provide different forms of assistance with your energy bills, such as retrofitting appliances, assisting the disabled and elderly, emergency short-term assistance, and goal-setting and co-payment plans. Assistance is available through local distributors in all 254 Texas counties, regardless of your energy provider. For more information, call1-877-399-8939 toll free (please use a land-based phone) or click here.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The WAP is designed to help decrease bills for low-income homes through increasing the energy efficiency of homes and providing education about energy conservation. It is available, regardless of provider, in all 254 Texas counties, but assistance is limited due to funding. For more information, contact your local WAP provider toll free at (888) 606-8889 or click here.
LITE-UP Texas Program
LITE-UP Texas is a government-funded program that provides a discount on energy bills for May through September on a yearly basis and is only available in deregulated areas. Discounts depend upon your service provider and available funding. To enroll or see if you’re eligible, call toll free at 1-866-454-8387 or click here.
Financial Assistance for Car Replacement and Repair
Texas has a financial assistance and incentive program for qualified owners of vehicles that fail the emissions test or whose vehicles are 10 years or older. The program is called “AirCheckTexas: Drive a Clean Machine.” For more information, call (toll free) 800-913-3321 or click here.
- Contact the Public Utility Commission (PUC) for more information, to file complaints, or to inquire about customer protection at 1-888-782-8477
- Assistance for basic telephone services is through the Lifeline program
- The Texas Electric Choice Education Program helps residents in many Texas counties choose the best electric provider for their needs.
- For information on low-income energy assistance for victims of family violence, click here.
- Texas ROSE is a non-profit focused on helping energy consumers. They are a good resourse for helpful tips and energy assistance information.
- Calling your county’s state representatives or local officials about low-income assistance can prove helpful to you, while also bringing political attention to the needs within your community.
- Many local faith and community based non-profits offer short-term energy assistance. Call your utility company for a list of local programs.
(Photo "Power Lines 124" by User Michael Kappel used under a Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial License.)