Utility payment assistance available to NC residents

Utility payment assistance available to NC residents

The North Carolina General Assembly has made a one-time appropriation of $28 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services (the Division) for utility payment assistance.  

Money from this utility assistance grant fund can be used to pay for utility deposits, ongoing utility bills, or utility arrears for eligible water, sewer, electricity, and natural gas accounts. 

Eligible accounts must meet the following criteria: 

  • The account is held by an individual who is a tenant or owner of residential property in the State of North Carolina.
  • The account holder is unable to make utility payments to a utility provider due to a financial hardship, including job loss, occurring on or after the declaration of an emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, as provided in the Governor’s Executive Order No. 116, dated March 10, 2020.
  • The account holder’s household earned no more than 80% of the subject area median income during the preceding calendar year, as determined and published by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Account holders with household income at or below 50% of the subject area median income will receive priority consideration.
  • The amounts due to the utility provider became due and payable after March 10, 2020.

The Division and county departments of social services will work together to identify eligible accounts, establish and implement grant fund application procedures, and disburse funds. Funds will be disbursed directly to utility providers on behalf of eligible account holders. The Division will be responsible for ensuring funds disbursed to utility providers are credited to eligible accounts to satisfy sums due and payable, including amounts in arrears. 

For the full text of the legislation, visit the North Carolina General Assembly’s House Bill 1200 page.

For help understanding your agency’s role in this utility payment assistance program, reach out to Funding Specialist Amanda Whitaker at awhitaker@withersravenel.com or Director of Funding & Asset Management Seth Robertson at (919) 238-0323 or srobertson@withersravenel.com.