Consumer Assistance | previous page
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As a customer of a utility service provider, you have an obligation to pay for the services you use. There may be times when you have difficulty meeting those financial obligations. Early and honest communication with the utility company is one of the best first steps you can make to work your way through the challenging situation. You should also be aware of the following helpful tools.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program
Qualifying consumers may apply to the Office of Energy Assistance within the South Dakota Department of Social Services for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) that provides payment for some home heating costs.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The South Dakota Department of Social Services' Weatherization Assistance Program helps qualifying residents make their homes more energy efficient through weatherization improvements. The improvements are completed by four different community action programs serving specific counties.
Lifeline and Link-Up Telephone Assistance Programs
Most South Dakota telephone companies offer Lifeline and Link-Up programs for their qualifying customers. Lifeline offers a discount on basic local telephone service. Link-Up provides a discount on the installation or activation for new telephone service. Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements. Tribal Lifeline and Link-Up programs are available for residents of tribal lands.
Electric and Natural Gas Utility Budgeting Services
Although not a discount program, balanced billing offered by electric or natural gas providers can be a valuable tool for managing your budget. With balanced billing, the utility company reviews your past bills to determine a monthly average. You are billed this average amount each month, regardless of how much energy you actually use. Some months your energy use is higher, some months it's lower. But you always pay the same amount. The company tracks monthly usage, monitors your account and lets you know if adjustments to the balanced billing are necessary. See company-specific information below. If your utility is not listed here, find contact information for investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives or municipal electric organizations.
- Black Hills Energy Budget Billing Program
- MidAmerican Energy Co. Budget Billing Program
- Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. Balanced Billing Program
- NorthWestern Energy Budget Billing Calculator
- Otter Tail Power Co. Even Monthly Payment Program
- Xcel Energy Averaged Monthly Payment Program
Web site links found throughout www.PUC.SD.gov are intended to provide helpful resources. Inclusion of a Web link on this site is not necessarily an endorsement of an organization, product or service.