Every year the federal government hands out energy assistance to the poor, but you need to know all their tricks to actually get it. RIGHT NOW is the time to get LHEAP. The application period is usually from Nov until they run out of money. So, if you are low income, call your utility company TODAY and ask who you call for LHEAP assistance. If you are in Seattle, call 1-800-348-7144 to get an intake appt. You can also call Seattle City Light or Puget Sound Energy and ask them for the local numbers for your area.
When I was in Eugene, OR., they played HORRIFIC games with this info. I would begin calling EWEB in Oct to get the intake appt, they would say they knew nothing, then mysteriously some would get intake appts and no one could tell you how to get them, it was quite the bullshit runaround so if you are in Eugene, BE PERSISTENT. I finally did get an appt in Eugene, but man, I had to push in some doors to get to it. They told me in Eugene that they made it so hard to apply for, because they did not have enough funds so apparently their idea is to run everyone around so that only the most vigil end up making it through to an appt!! Pretty sad shit.
You can get this assistance if you live in a school bus that uses wood heat, if you live in a trailer with gas heat, if you live in public housing with electric heat, etc...It applies to all heating and it is worth at least applying...