Utility Assistance Programs
The Opportunity Council offers bill assistance to eligible households for their home heating, energy, water, and sewer bills. Households must be income-eligible to receive assistance. Some programs do not require a balance owing to qualify. Depending on the time of year, we may help with the electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil, wood, water, and sewer bills.
Whatcom County & Island Counties:
General Scheduling* will begin Saturday, November 5th from 9am-2pm and continue through the following week(s) until filled. We will open crisis up to bulk fuels/deliverables starting November 7th, 2022. Please see the sidebar to the right for which phone number to call on Saturday.
We will offer online scheduling options for both counties. Please click on the link below for the pre-screening tool to see if you may be eligible.
Utility Assistance Screening Tool
*If you have a disability or phone/internet issues, you may fill out a special accommodation form (in English, Spanish, or Russian) and submit it either by mail (or drop off) to: CS Manager-Energy, 1111 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 (Whatcom) or Energy Assistance-Island Director, 231 SE Barrington Dr, Ste 100, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 (Island). You may email your completed request form to: CSProgMngr@nulloppco.org. Requests will be reviewed in the order received. We cannot guarantee we will be able to accommodate your request.
The utility moratorium on disconnections for all electric/natural gas/water has ended. Please be sure to contact your utility provider for payment arrangements to avoid disconnection of service. If you have a disconnection notice for water, sewer, electric, or gas utility, please contact our office in your area for a potential crisis appointment. If you are a renter, there may be utility help available through rental assistance. If you are billed bi-monthly (every two months) for water, please call us if you are unable to pay about 2-3 weeks before the shut-off date. NOTE: Appointments are very, very limited this season and only available on a weekly basis starting on Mondays.
San Juan County:
LIHEAP will begin starting in November. NEW: We will have a water/sewer assistance program for those who have difficulty paying their bill. Please contact your nearest resource center for more information on how to apply.
For a detailed update for programs available for our tri-county area, view Energy Scheduling Updates & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
New Air Conditioner and Air Purifier Benefit:
To be eligible for an Air Conditioner, you must reside in a household where someone is age 60 or over and has received LIHEAP since October 1, 2022. Please let us know at your appointment if you are interested. One per household–if you received one previously, you will not be eligible. Air purifiers are not available in Whatcom, Island, or San Juan Counties.