Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ways to Make Your Utility Bill Easy to Manage

The City of Richmond has several programs to assist you with keeping up with your utility bills, especially as heating season approaches.

The Equal Monthly Payment Plan (EMPP) spreads your annual natural gas bill over 12 months. The estimated monthly payment is based on the previous year’s natural gas usage. Accounts are reviewed and adjusted each year in August. To take advantage of this billing plan, call 646-7000 and request the Equal Monthly Payment Plan.

MetroCare, a DPU program funded and administered by partner agencies, individuals and company donations, assists families and individuals experiencing special hardships or financial difficulties with their heating bills. The application period runs from Dec. 15 to April 30 each year.

If your income falls below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you are unemployed, or have a family crisis, apply at one of the following locations:


  • Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People, 1021 Oliver Hill Way, 788-0050, 
  • Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Command, 2 W. Grace Street, 225-7470.


To learn if you are eligible under guidelines published by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, call the City’s Department of Social Services’ Energy Assistance division at 646-7046. For more information, call 2-1-1. The maximum amount of assistance is $500.

Special Payment Agreement Plans can be arranged for those facing financial difficulties by calling 646-7000.

Seniors who are eligible for the Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program are exempt from solid waste and recycling fees on their utility bills. For more information, call 646-5700. Seniors also do not incur late fees on their bills, do not have to pay security deposits to transfer or restore services, and are exempt from shut-offs between Dec. 1 and March 31. To enroll in the Senior Care Program, call 646-7000, or 3-1-1.

The MetroCare Water Assistance Program is in its second year and provides discounted water and wastewater fees and charges for low income customers. You can make an appointment at two of the same intake agencies as the MetroCare heating assistance program -- Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People or the Salvation Army, to apply for assistance with your water bill. The water bill must be in the name of the applicant and the customer must live at the property. The Department of Social Services currently does not accept or process the MetroCare Water Assistance applications.
For more information visit www.richmondgov.com/dpu

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