City launches $10 million COVID-19 Utility Relief Program
Today Mayor Greg Fischer joined Louisville Metro Council members and utility partners in announcing the start of the city’s $10 million COVID-19 utility assistance program, designed to help residents who have fallen behind on LG&E, Louisville Water and Louisville MSD bills as a result of COVID-19.
The Metro COVID-19 Utility Relief Funds are designed for residents with an active LG&E, Louisville Water Company/MSD account with a past due amount. The outstanding balance must have occurred between March 16, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Customers will need to attest that they have had a financial hardship during the pandemic.
Customers with outstanding balances on their utility bills could receive a one-time credit for up to $500 each on LG&E and Water/MSD bills.
Funding for the utility relief program comes from Louisville Metro Government general fund dollars freed up by federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security) Act) funding in other areas. The funds will be distributed by the city’s Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) under agreements with the utilities and the utilities’ foundations and administrative support from the Association of Community Ministries and Neighborhood Place.
“We know financial hardships related to COVID-19, whether that be job loss or reduction in hours, have created a high demand for utility assistance,” said Mayor Fischer. “The Metro COVID-19 Utility Relief Program represents a new partnership with Louisville Water Co., MSD, LG&E, and the utilities’ foundations, working together to help people get back on track in paying their utility bills. I am also grateful for Metro Council for approving this funding to help the residents of Louisville overcome this financial burden.”
To demonstrate the level of need LG&E had nearly 28,000 residential customers in arrears. And there are 15,000 residential customers in Jefferson County who are behind on their Louisville Water/MSD bill.
The application process is as follows:
Metro COVID-19 Relief LG&E Assistance
Contact one of the following:
1) Call your local Community Ministry at http://www.louisvilleministries.org or call Metro United Way's 2-1-1 to locate the ministry nearest you, or
2) Schedule an appointment in advance with Neighborhood Place by calling 502-977-6636 or visit online at http://LGEHelp.itfrontdesk.com
Eligibility for the Metro LG&E Relief Program:
- Jefferson County residency
- Experienced a COVID-related economic hardship
- Have a past due/delinquent LG&E electric or gas bill (arrearage must have occurred March 16 – December 31, 2020)
- There are no income restrictions to receive this utility assistance, however, income documentation is required to gain entry into the LG&E program.
Documentation may include (check Community Ministry and Neighborhood Place for specifics):
- Photo ID for adult(s) in the household
- Social Security card(s) or official documentation with Social Security numbers for everyone living in the household (or Permanence Residence/Green Card)
- Current bill with a past due balance, or a brown, disconnect notice from LG&E. (Arrearage must have occurred between March 16 through December 31, 2020).
- When applying via Neighborhood Place, the LG&E Utility Assistance Application form can be downloaded here or found at Neighborhood Place office drop boxes that include the income documentation form.
Metro COVID-19 Relief Louisville Water Company/MSD Assistance
Contact Louisville Water Company:
- Apply online using the self-service portal at http://LouisvilleWater.com/MetroReliefPortal
- Customers without computer access can visit local Community Ministries, make an appointment with the Louisville Free Public Library or visit Louisville Water at 550 South Third Street.
- Have a residential account in Jefferson County
- Have a past-due balance sometime between March 16, 2020 – December 31, 2020
- Identify a COVID-19 based financial hardship
Residents can apply for both LG&E and Water/MSD bill assistance.
This Metro COVID-19 Utility Relief Funds will operate from January 25 until funding is depleted. Funding is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
“These new utility relief funds continue Metro’s commitment to public health and safety, helping residents who have been hit hardest to recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic, said Councilman Bill Hollander, District 9. “Assisting families in need has been a priority for Metro Council since last March. There is much more to do but utility assistance is critical, and Metro Council enthusiastically supported these new programs.”
The federally funded LIHEAP Crisis Program is also currently operating, providing heating assistance for qualified residents who meet one of these criteria: are facing disconnection, or past due amount, or who are facing eviction if their utilities are included in their rent, or who are in danger of funning out of heating fuel such as kerosene or propane.
LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is also administered through the Office of Resilience and Community Services. Check here for eligibility and how to apply.
For more information, http://www.louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services, call Metro United Way’s help referral service at 211, or Metro311 by simply dialing 311 or (502) 574-5000 or email [email protected].