There are now 40,000 customers in New Mexico behind on paying their electric bills. Water and other utilities can also be a struggle. The Storehouse supports people in this kind of tough economic situation. As a result, in addition to the food we provide, we like to share resources including utility assistance programs here in New Mexico.
PNM COVID Customer Relief
The PNM Foundation has helped the Storehouse with grants many times. In addition, they have helped the food pantry with energy saving projects. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) helps people save on electric bills.
Most recently that has involved the COVID Customer Relief Fund. PNM recently announced it is extending the deadline for that financial relief program that helps families, small businesses, and nonprofits who are struggling to pay their bills. Currently, late payments total more than $13 million dollars past-due. That statistic comes from PNM spokesperson Shannon Jackson.
The utility started the COVID Customer Relief Fund in 2020. It is a program funded by shareholders. So far, over 7,000 customers have been approved. Residential customers can receive up to $200. Small businesses and nonprofits can receive up to $500. The funding was due to expire last month. However, PNM extended this bill assistance through March 31, 2022.
Applications for electricity bill assistance are available in English and Spanish. PNM has Spanish speaking customer service representatives, as well.
Water Utility Assistance through Storehouse
Water bills are also a struggle for low-income families. Of course, this has been an issue long before the pandemic. To help, the Storehouse works in cooperation with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority for the Low-Income Water and Solid Waste Credit (LIC) program. Overall, the goal is to connect people in need to this utility assistance.
Help with paying water and solid waste utility bills is available to people who own their home (paying towards a mortgage), are current on their bill, and meet income guidelines listed on the application.
The application is available HERE. It is listed below the information on how to get food. Water utility assistance is one of the Storehouse wrap-around services.
LIHEAP/Electric Bill Assistance Through Adelante Benefits Connection Center
Adelante is a local nonprofit that works with Storehouse. Adelante has a great resource to helps seniors and people with disabilities across New Mexico get access to government benefits. It’s called the Benefits Connection Center. Best of all, this Adelante service is free to the public. The National Council on Aging makes this work possible.
Have you wondered if you qualify for government benefits? Did you know that can include LIHEAP (the Low Income Energy Assistance program)? That is just one of the programs Adelante Benefits Connection Center can connect you to. Just call (505) 273-5222! Or learn more on their website: https://goadelante.org/community-resources/benefits-connection-center/
PNM Good Neighbor Fund
The PNM Good Neighbor Fund is another helpful utility program. This fund is for PNM customers who are facing an unexpected financial hardship due to an emergency. The PNM Good Neighbor Fund may cover part or all of a past-due PNM bill. First, grant recipients must be income-eligible. Second, they must have proof of a qualified emergency situation that occurred within the last six months and caused an unexpected loss of income.
It’s easy to apply for the PNM Good Neighbor Fund. First, contact the New Mexico Human Services Department for the LIHEAP energy assistance program. You can do that safety and conveniently from your own home. Just visit www.yes.state.nm.us/yesnm. Household income qualifications can be found on PNM’s website here. Second, contact the PNM Good Neighbor Fund at (844)378-5792 to get more help with your electric bill.