8 Houston Utility Assistance Programs To Help You Pay Your Utility Bills
If you have lost your job due to COVID-19 pandemic, this article will help you with understanding the options available to you to give you a better chance of finding utility assistance to pay your bills.
Utility assistance can come in many forms. Deferred payments, deadline extensions, or referrals to local nonprofits who will pay your balance are all forms of utility assistance.
In this guide, we will provide you with 7 options for utility assistance. Those range from state-funded programs plans created by energy companies and referrals to charity organizations who may pay your bill for you.
The first option for utility assistance in Houston that we will review is the Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program.
- 1. Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program
- 2. Reliant Energy Utility Assistance Program
- 3. TXU Energy Utility Assistance Program
- 4. Green Mountain Energy Utility Assistance Program
- 5. Direct Energy Neighbor To Neighbor Program
- 6. Gexa Energy Low-Income Utility Assistance Program
- 7. Texas CEAP (6-8 months of utility assistance for seniors)
- 8. Houston Rent + Utility Assistance Finder Tool
- 9. COVID-19 Online Assistance Applications
- 10. Houston Light Companies with No Deposit
1. Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program
If you are needing utility bill assistance this program is one of the very first that you should call. The Texas COVID 19 Electricity Relief Program was created to help individuals who have been impacted by the Coronavirus.
Note: Throughout this article you will see payment plans from various utility companies like Reliant, TXU, ect and most of these are partnered with the COVID 19 Electricity Relief Program.
How Does Texas COVID -19 Relief Program Help?
This program can help you in two ways:
- It defers your utility bill payments
- Prevents your light company from shutting off your utilities
Who Qualifies For the Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program?
The following individuals qualify for this utility assistance program:
- Those currently receiving unemployment
- Low-income individuals receiving state benefits like Medicaid and SNAP
How To Apply For The Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program?
To apply you can complete the online application or call them at 866.454.8387.
2. Reliant Energy Utility Assistance Program
Reliant Energy is one of the largest energy providers in the area and offers many utility assistance options for low-come customers in Houston. Below are a few of these options.
CARE Program (Community Assistance from Reliant Energy)
The CARES Program assists low-income Reliant Energy customers by providing utility assistance to pay their bills.
If you are a Reliant customer and need help paying your utility bill you can start by calling 211 Texas at…211. Once you reach an operator inform them that you are a Reliant customer and interested in applying for the CARE Program that Reliant offers. At this point, 211 will refer you to local non-profits who can potentially help you to pay your Reliant energy bills.
Reliant Energy Payment Extensions
Reliant also allows customers to extend their due date for payments. If you are granted an extension, Reliant will provide you with extra time beyond the original due date to pay your bill.
During this time your lights will not be disconnected however you could face the following:
- 5% late fee
- Disconnection notice fee if you received a disconnection notice
- Disconnect recovery fee
If you need a payment extension be sure to call Reliant and tell them before the disconnection due date.
Anyone who is seriously ill with COVID or some other condition can call Reliant at 1.866.222.7100. You can use this same number to simply request a payment extension or apply online.
Reliant Energy Deferred Payment Plan
If you qualified for the COVID 19 Electricity Relief Program then you may be eligible for a Deferred Payment Plan. The Deferred Payment Plans allows you to pay your balance in monthly installments. Those installments will also include your regular monthly charges.
In most deferment plans you are required to pay 50% of the amount you owe upfront. The rest will be paid in monthly installments.
To learn more about Deferred Payment Plans you can call Reliant at 1.866.222.7100.
3. TXU Energy Utility Assistance Program
TXU helps low-income clients by offering an Energy Assistance Program. The requirements are pretty straight forward because essentially anyone receiving the following benefits qualifies:
- SNAP Benefits
Once you submit your SNAP or Medicaid information TXU will enroll you into the program and see your utility bill discount in about 2 billing cycles.
To learn more about TXU payment arrangements you can call them at 1.800.242.9113. It’s best to call them prior to the date of any disconnection notices that you receive. Individuals who may be ill with COVID or even temporarily unemployed are also encouraged to call this number to speak about payment options.
For a complete list of answers to any questions you have about paying your bill, you can see the TXU Frequently Asked Questions page.
4. Green Mountain Energy Utility Assistance Program
Green Mountain Energy customers in Houston can utilize the following programs to find aid for an outstanding electricity bill.
Energy Payment Extensions
Like other energy plans mentioned, this one provides customers with extra time beyond the original due date to pay their bill without being disconnected. The only requirement for this plan is you call them prior to the actual disconnection notice date. You should also know that you will have to pay a disconnection notice fee and a disconnect recovery fee.
Green Mountain Energy Deferred Payment Plan
Another option for utility assistance is the Deferred Payment Plan.
Green Mountain Energy will allow you to pay your balance in installments. Keep in mind you will also be responsible for your monthly bill in addition to the installments.
Below are the terms for someone enrolling in the Green Mountain Deferred Payment Plan:
- You cannot switch to another energy provider until your balance is paid in full.
- Agree to pay 50% of what you owe up front
- Pay the remaining balance in monthly installments along with your current bill
Those That Are Seriously Ill
Whether it’s COVID 19 or some other illness Green Mountain can offer you other bill payment assistance. To learn about these payment arrangements contact them at 866.785.4668.
5. Direct Energy Neighbor To Neighbor Program
The Neighbor-to-Neighbor program is a form of utility assistance offered by Direct Energy.
Individuals who qualify for this program can receive up to $700 in utility assistance for the calendar year.
How To Apply For The Direct Energy Neighbor To Neighbor Program
To apply for this program you will need to contact a Direct Energy partner. These partners will screen you for eligibility.
- Harris County Community Services – 9418 Jensen Drive, Houston, TX 77093 – 713.696.7900 – Covers Harris County
- Baker Ripley – 3838 Aberdeen Way Houston, TX 77025 – 713.667.9400 , 713.590.2327 , email@example.com- Covers Harris County
- Galveston County Community Action Council – 4700 Broadway, Suite C109, Galveston, TX 77552 – 409.765.7878 – Covers Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston and Wharton Counties
Those outside of the Houston/Galveston can find help by visiting the Direct Energy Neighbor-to-Neighbor Payment Agencies page.
For more information regarding utility assistance in Houston you can also contact Direct Energy at 877.541.9847.
6. Gexa Energy Low-Income Utility Assistance Program
Gexa also offers utility assistance options to customers who are having a hard time paying their bills.
The first step Gexa customers who are having trouble paying utility bills should take is contacting them at 866.961.9399. By calling Gexa customers are able to learn about flexible payment options. It’s always best to call sooner rather than later if you know you will have trouble paying your utility bill for the month.
Gexa Energy Payment Assistance
According to Gexa Energy, they have partnered with nonprofit agencies to aid customers with bill payments. To locate these partners you will have to call 211 or visit 211Texas and search “Electric Bill Assistance” to see which nonprofits assist your zip code.
Gexa Energy Deferred Payment Plan
Another utility assistance option is the Deferred Payment Plan. The terms of this plan are the following:
- Pay up to 50% of your balance upfront
- Pay your remaining balance in the next 5 months.
- You cannot switch energy providers until your balance is paid to Gexa Energy
For more questions regarding utility assistance or any other issues call Gexa Energy at 866.961.9399.
7. Texas CEAP (6-8 months of utility assistance for seniors)
Texas CEAP (Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program) is a yearly program that helps low-income seniors to pay their utility bills.
While other a Harris County energy assistance program will typically only help with one month of rent assistance, Texas CEAP can help for as much as 6-8 months.
Editor’s note: This program is sometimes referred to as LIHEAP or Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
Who Qualifies For Texas CEAP?
To qualify you must fall into one of the following categories:
- Be a senior 60 years or older
- Your income is under 150% of the Federal Poverty Level or FPL. Check to see if you are under 150% FPL by seeing the latest Poverty Guidelines table.
How To Apply For Texas CEAP?
You must find a Texas CEAP Partner to apply for this program. Typically these partners begin enrollments for this annual program in November so start calling them around this time. Below are agencies within the Houston/Galveston area that partner with CEAP.
- Baker Ripley – 713.590.2327 – Covers Harris County
- Galveston County Community Action Council – 409.765.7878 – Covers Galveston, Brazoria,
- Brazos Valley Community Action Programs – 979.213.4051 – Covers Brazos, Waller, Walker, Montgomery, Washington Counties
- Greater East Texas Community Action Program – 800.621.5746 – Covers Chambers, Hardin, Liberty, Trinity, San Jacinto Counties
If you do not see your county above you can call CEAP (877.399.8939) or 211 Texas (877.541.7905) to find a CEAP partner near you.
You may also use the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website to find a CEAP partner. Visit their website and look for “Utility Bill Payment Help”. Click it and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your city or county to see your area’s CEAP partner.
8. Houston Rent + Utility Assistance Finder Tool
The next community resource I have for light bill assistance is to use our Houston Rent + Utility Assistance Finder.
This tool is simple to use. All you need to do is type your zip code in the table below and you will see a list of nonprofits and churches that help with bills.
|Agency||Address||Phone||Type of Assistance||Area/Zip Code served||Hourss|
|AIDS Foundation HoustonWeb||6260 Westpark Dr #100||713.623.6796||Only offers assistance to clients with HIV and AIDS. Offers housing, mental health, substance abuse, assistance applying for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Texas Women's Health Plan||Harris County||M-F 930 to 4pm. Walk ins welcome but priority is given to those with appointments.|
|Baytown Resource & Assistance Center Web||5309 Decker Dr||281.424.5752. *Must make an appointment.||Utilities, Clothing for Children, Employment assistance services||Residents of McNair, Baytown, Highlands or Chambers County||Mon: 8 to 5pm. Closed from 12 to 1pm for lunch.|
|Avenue 360 (formerly Bearing Omega and Houston Area Community Services) Web||2150 West 18th Street||713.426.0027||Housing referrals, medical support, Rent, Mental Health||HIV/AIDs clients only||M - F: 8 to 5pm|
|Bethel's Heavenly HandsWeb||12660 Sandpiper Dr||713.729.6477||Food, Clothing, Thursday Food Distributions, Senior Commodity Program,||Harris County||Mon, Tues, Fri|
|Braes Interfaith MinistriesWeb||4300 W. Bellfort||713.723.2671||Food, Clothing||SW: 77025, 77035, 77045, 77051, 77053, 77054, 77071, 77085, 77096||M-F 730a - 530p|
|Brentwood Community Foundation Web||13033 1/2 Landmark Street||713.852.2551||Resources for those with HIV/AIDS. Rent, Mortgage, Food, Utilities, housing referrals||Those with HIV/AIDS in Houston area||M-F 8am to 5pm|
|Catholic Charities Main Office Web||2900 Louisiana |
Other Locations: Houston Locations
|713.874.6590 or 713.526.4611||Rent, Utilities, Food, Counseling, Adoption, Immigration, Limited Financial Assistance, Saturday Food Fairs, Case Management, Help applying for SNAP, Medicaid, TANF,||77003, 77004, 77011, 77012, 77013, 77020, 77021, 77023, 77029, 77030, 77054, 77547||M-F 730a - 530p|
|Chinese Community CenterWeb||9800 Town Park||713.271.6100||Utilities (must have cut off notice), Weatherization, Adult day program, Gold Card Application Assistance, Income Tax Help, SNAP, Free Legal Clinic, Citizenship Application Assistance,||77024, 77036, 77042, 77056, 77057, 77063, 77072, 77074, 77077, 77079, 77081, 77082, 77083, 77094, 77099, 77450, 77494, 77477,||Tues 9am - 12pm|
|Christian Community CenterWeb||3434 Branard||713.871.9741||Rent, Utilities, Food, Clothing, Vocational Training, Jobnet Program||W-SW: 77002, 77003, 77004, 77005, 77006, 77007, 77010, 77011, 77012, 77019, 77020, 77021, 77023, 77025, 77026, 77027, 77030, 77046, 77056, 77057, 77081, 77096, 77098, 77401||M-F 10a - 2pm Sat 9a - 12p (food and clothing only)|
|City Fellowship Church Christian Rescue Mission Web||3220 Hadley||713.659.7750||Rent, Utilities, Food||Harris County||Tues-F: 10a -12p|
|City of Houston Water Aid To Elderly Residents Program||4200 Leeland Houston, TX 77023|
Mail application here.
|713.371.1400||Assistance paying water bill. $100 every six months.||Low income seniors (60+) residing in Houston are the priority. Individuals w disabilities and low income families are also encourage to apply. Web||Water Assistance Application: Web|
|City Wide ClubWeb||Multiple locations||713.752.2582||Rent, Utilities, Food, Employment Referrals, Housing and Shelter Recovery Program - room and board for families, seniors, homeless faced w physical, mental substance abuse challenges, Project Warm-Up helps with electric heaters and utilities, Project Cool Down helps w fans and shelters in summer||Harris County and surrounding areas||Tues-Th 10a-1p|
|Covenant House Texas Web||1111 Lovett Blvd||713.523.2231||Crisis shelter, Transitional shelter for youth ages 18 to 20. Medical and clothing provided. Job placement for young adults.||Houston area||M-F 8a to 5p|
|Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) Web||713.957.4357 or 211||Utilities Assistance for low income seniors (60+) and/or have documented disability expected to last 12 months||Harris County||M-F 8a-5p|
|Cypress Area Ministries Web||11202 Huffmeister||281.955.7684||Rent, utilities, food, clothing. CAM may pay a portion of the past due balance on a utility bill. The client is required to pay the balance of the amount past due, or have a pledge for that amount, prior to CAM’s paying the pledged amount.||77065, 77095, 77429, 77433||M-F 10a-2p|
|Fair Haven Methodist Church Web||1330 Gessner||713.476.4346 or (713) 468-3276||Food||77024, 77027, 77041, (Carverdale only), 77043, 77055, 77056, 77079, 77080,||M-F 10a-2p|
|First Baptist ChurchWeb||8009 Long Point||713.554.8801 or (281) 229-9166||Rent, mortgage, utilities, food, prescriptions||NW: Harris County||M-Th 730a-11a Walk Ins only|
|Gulf Coast Community Services Web||9320 Kirby Dr||713.393.4700||Rent, utilities, food, clothing, Q cards, eyewear vouchers||SE: Harris County||M-F 8a-5p|
|Harris County Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher Web||8933 Interchange Dr.||713.578.2100||Housing Choice Vouchers distributed during open enrollment||Harris County||M-F 8a-5p|
|Harris County Social Services Web||9418 Jense Drive||713.696.7900||Rent, Utilities, Bereavement, Veteran services||Harris County||M-F 8a-5p|
|Hester HouseWeb||2020 Solo||713.274.1394||Hot meals/seniors summer/youth camp||NW - 5th Ward||M-F 8a-5p|
|Houston Volunteers of America Web||4808 Yale Street (Independence Heights Location)|
731 West Davis Conroe, TX
|713.460.0781 or 817.529.7300||Assistance applying for SNAP, Medicaid, FASFA, Tax Season Assistance, Employment Placement Assistance Program for Healthcare jobs, Deaf and Blind Services, Day Habilitation Center for those with special needs, Residential Group Homes for children and adults with special needs, Substance Abuse Treatment, Housing for seniors and those with a disability, Homeless Veterans Help||Houston and surrounding areas||M-F 8a - 5p|
|Housing Authority of City of HoustonWeb||2640 Fountain View Dr||713.260.0600||Housing Choice Vouchers and Public Housing||M-F 8a-5p *By appointment.|
|Humble Area Ministries Web||1302 First Street||281.446.3663||Food, rent, utilities, |
Employment services, Clothing, Prescription Assistance, Birth Certificate and ID Assistance, Assistance with Eyeglasses
|77336, 77345, 77347, 77372, 77338, 77346, 77357, 77396, 77339, 77347, 77365, 77532,||7 days a week/24 hours a day answering machine, leave message|
|Interfaith Caring Ministries Web||151 Park Ave, League City||281.332.3881||Rent, utilities, minor home repair, and food for seniors (55+)||Clear Creek ISD, Friendswood ISD, Clear Lake, Webster, 77034, 77058, 77059, 77062, 77089, 77546, 77565, 77573, 77586, 77598||M-F 830a-430p *by appointment|
|Immaculate Conception Catholic ChurchWeb||7250 Harrisburgh||713.921.1261||Food||77011, 77012||Thurs 930a - 1130m|
|Katy Christian Social Ministries Web||5011 East 5th St Katy, TX||281.391.9623||Rent, mortgage, utilities, food, clothing||77084, 77094, 77406, 77423, 77441, 77449, 77450, 77464, 77476, 77485, 77493, 77494||M-Th 830a-12p 1230p -5p|
|Larkin Community Center Web||5410 Larkin||713.869.9143||Rent and Utility assistance to seniors and families with children||M - F 8am to 5pm|
|LINC Houston Community Services Web||1504 Johnson Street||713.426.2451||Food, Prescriptions, Eye glasses, Rent, Security Deposit, Clothes, CHIP, Medicaid, Gold Card, Home Repair||Mon, Wed, Fri: 9 to 3pm|
|Lone Star Legal Aid Web||1415 Fannin||713.652.0077 or 713.652.5911||Legal services to low income individuals||Harris, Ft Bend and Montgomery County||M-F 830a - 1230p|
|MANNA - Ministry Assistance of the Near Northwest Allicance Web||1806 W. 43rd Street||346.335.2950 or 713.682.7556||Utility, Gas, Rent, Clothing, Food, Assistance with SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, CHIP,||77007, 77008, 77009, 77018, 77022, 77037, 77040, 77076, 77088, 77091, 77092,||M: 8 to 11, Tues and Thurs: 915 to 1115am.|
|Memorial Area MinistriesWeb||1625 Blalock||English 713.574.7533 Spanish 713.574.7536||Rent, water, gas, medical assistance, prescriptions, transportation, clothing, Rapid Re-Housing,||77008, 77009, 77018, 77022, 77024, 77037, 77039, 77040, 77041, 77043, 77055, 77076, 77079, 77080, 77088, 77091, 77092,||M-F 9a - 4p. Call between 9a - 12p M-F to set up an appointment.|
|My Brother's Keeper Outreach Center Web||12713 A Bissonnet||281.489.9933||Financial Assistance, Rent, Utilities, Food Pantry,|
|Mayors Office for People with Disabilities Web||1475 West Gray||832.394.0814 firstname.lastname@example.org||Advocacy Services||City of Houston||M-F 8a - 5p|
|North Channel Assistance MiWeb nistries||13837 Bonham||713.453.8028||Food, food stamp application help, Medicaid application help, clothing,||77013, 77015, 77029, 77044, 77049, 77078, 77530,||M-F 8a-2p|
|Northwest Assistance Ministries Web||15555 Kuykendahl||281.583.5600||Rent, mortgage, gas, water, prescriptions, gas vouchers, dental and medical,||77014, 77032, 77038, 77050, 77060, 77064, 77066, 77067, 77068, 77069, 77070, 77073, 77086, 77090, 77373, 77379, 77388, 77389,||Tues 1p-4p Call for an appointment.|
|Operation ID Web||5100 Travis Street||713.620.6476||Texas Identification Card||Harris County||Tues & Thurs 9a-1130a. You will need a referral/voucher from an agency that Operation ID partners with.|
|Pasadena Community MinistriesWeb||2301 South Houston||713.477.4336||Rent, utilities, food, clothing,||Pasadena, Deer Park,||Tues 9a - 12p. Th 1p-4p|
|Riceville Baptist ChurchWeb||11231 Gessner||713.774.4880||Food, clothing, financial assistance, prison ministry||1st Wed of Month, 6p. Call for appointments.|
|Salvation ArmyWeb||1500 Austin Street||713.752.0677||Rent, Food, Clothing, Utilities (water only), Senior Housing (62+)||Harris County||M-Th 830a - 430p|
|Saras HouseWeb||711 Perla||713.475.1480||Shelter, meals, clothing (women & children)||Pasadena|
|Baker Ripley Web||3838 Aberdeen Way 77025||713-590-2327||Case management, care giver support, dementia adult day program, utilities, must be under 150% FPL, preferences to elderly, disabled, clients w children under 5 yrs, no deposits or reconnection fees,||77016, 77020, 77026, 77028, 77004, 77021, 77033, 77051, 77087, 77003, 77011, 77012, 77020, 77023, 77034, 77058, 77059, 77062, 77075, 77089, 77502, 77504, 77506, 77571, 77598,||Call for appointment|
|Senior Jobs Program (AARP)Web||12727 Featherwood Dr||281.922.9952||Jobs,||Harris County||M-F 930a - 230p|
|Spring-Woodlands Ministries Web||810 E. Louetta Suite A-E||281.353.4480||Food, clothing||77373, 77338, 77389, 77379, 77380, 77381, 77382, 77386, 77388,||M 1p-3p, W 9a-1130a, Thur 1p-3p|
|Society of St. Stephen Web||1062 Fairmont Parkway||281.487.1774||Rent, utilities, food,||77502, 77503, 77505, 77506, 77507||T-F New clients: 10a-1p|
|Society of St Vincent de PaulWeb||2403 Holcombe Blvd||713.741.8234 ext 101||Food, Clothing, Rent, Utility||City of Houston Zip Codes Only||M -F 9am - 5pm|
|Southeast Area Ministries SEAMWeb||2102 Houston Blvd||713.944.0093||Rent, Utilities, Food, Clothing, Ongoing Senior assistance, Christmas assistance program, Prescription, Medical Supply assistance||SE: 77017, 77034, 77061, 77075, 77087, 77089, 77504, 77587,||M-Th 10am - 1:30pm|
|St Bernadette Church Web||15500 El Camino Real||281.486.0337||Food, Clothes, Rent, Utilities,||Clear Lake: 77058, 77059, 77062, 77598,||Tues: 930 to 1130am Thurs: 930 to 1130 Wed: Appt only|
|St. Cecilia ChurchWeb||11720 Joan of Arc Drive||713.468.1185||Rent, Utilities, Food,||NW: 77024, 77043, 77055||M-Th: 9am through 12pm|
|St Christopher Catholic ChurchWeb||8150 Park Place||713.645.6614||Food||SE: 77012, 77017, 77061,||Sat: 930 to 11am|
|St. Hyacinth Catholic Church Web||2921 Center St, Deer Park||281.479.4298||Rent, Utilities, Food||Deer Park: 77536||M - F: 930 to 12pm 1pm to 430pm|
|St. John Vianney Social Services Web||625 Nottingham Oaks||281.497.4434||Utilities, Food, Clothing,||W: 77043, 77055 (Food & Clothing only) 77077, 77079 (Food, Clothing, Utilities )||M-F: 830 to 530pm|
|St. Joseph Catholic ChurchWeb||1505 Kane Street||713.222.8903||Rent, Utilities, Food,||77007, 77008, 77009,||M-T: 9am to 12pm 130 to 330pm|
|St Mary Magdalene Church||527 South Houston Ave, Humble||281.540.1907||Rent, Utilities, Food,||NE: 77338, East of Lee Rd, 77346, (Only apartment complexes)||M, W, F only. 930 to 1145am - 1st 12 people.|
|St Pious Catholic Church Web||824 Main - Pasadena||713.473.9484||Food, Rent, Utilities, Immigrant Legal Assistance, Free Health Screenings,||Pasadena: 77501, 77507, 77536, 77547, 77587,||Tues & Thurs: 10am to 1230pm|
|Target Hunger Service CenterWeb||2814 Quitman||713.226.4953||Emergency Food, Food Pantries, Monthly Food Fairs, Senior Home Delivery Program, Senior Day Site Program||77015, 77016, 77020, 77026, 77028, 77078,||M-F: 9am to 5pm|
|The Bridge Over Troubled WatersWeb||3811 Allen-Genoa Rd||713.473.2801||Emergency Shelter for Domestic Abuse Victims||Harris County|
|The House of AmosWeb||8030 Boone Rd||281.495.9061||Food, Citizenship Classes, Lunches every Saturday, Free immunizations to uninsured children.||M-Th: 9am to 12pm Sat: 10am to 12pm|
|Tomball Emergency Assistance Ministries (TEAM) Web||300 W Main Street Tomball, TX 77375||281.351.6700||Utilities, Gas vouchers, Clothing, Food, Medical and Dental vouchers, Temporary Shelter||Tomball zip codes 77375, 77377 or you live within Tomball school district.||Tues and Thurs: 10am to 1pm. Application must be completed in person.|
|The Houston Food Bank Web||535 Portwall||832.369.9390||Emergency Food Pantry, Help applying for SNAP, TANF, CHIP, Medicaid||M-F: 8am to 5pm Sat: Telephone hotline only 8am to 4pm|
|United Way Web||211||Referrals for Food, Shelter, Rent, Utilities, Housing, Shelters, Substance Abuse||Harris County|
|Wesley Community CenterWeb||1410 Lee Street||713.223.8131 ext 245||Rent, Utilities, Food, Financial Education, Employment coaching, Help applying for Medicaid, SNAP, TANF,||Harris County||Friday Starts at 8am. Appointments Only. No appointment needed for Food.|
|West Houston Assistance MinistriesWeb||10501 Meadowglen Lane||713.977.9942||Mortgage, Food, Utilities, Clothing, Employment Assistance, Bus Passes for job related trips, Work Clothes,||77042, 77057, 77063, 77072, 77077, 77082,||M - F: 10am - 1pm|
|Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Web||3826 Wheeler||713.747.7101||Rent, Mortgage, Utilities, Food, Women's Housing (Badge Bush). Visit there site they help in plenty of ways.||SE: 77770||M-Th: 9 - 1230pm F: 9-1130am *Appointment only|
|Windsor Village Social ServicesWeb||12041 1/2 Post Oak Rd||713.551.8792||Rent, Mortgage, Utilities, Food,||Harris County and Ft Bend County||Appointment only Monday 8am to 11am Food: T-W 9am to 11am. Th 1030am to 1230pm|
|Pearland Neighborhood CenterWeb||2335 N Texas Ave, Pearland, TX 77581||281-485-1987, email@example.com||Rent, Utilities, Gas, Food and Baby Pantry, Bread Pantry, Santa's Helpers Program, School Supply Vouchers, Emergency Assistance, Finanical Stability Course, GED Scholarships, Disaster Relief||Brazoria County||M - F 8 to 5|
|East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry WWebeb||435 Stafford Run Road |
Stafford, Texas 77477-5639
|281 261-1006||Food, rent, utilities, resale shop, Christmas and Thanksgiving Meals, Backpacks for kids,||East Fort Bend - 77053, 77459, 77477, 77478, 77479, 77489, 77545, 77583||281 261-1006|
|Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS) WWebeb||9600 S. Gessner, Bldg. E |
Houston, Texas 77071
|713 270-0369||Gold Card, Medcaid, SNAP, Food, ESL, Computer Literacy, Voter Registration, Child Immunizations, Vision Screening, Domestic Abuse Counseling and support groups,||Serves Greater Houston||713 270-0369|
|Emergency Aid Coalition (EAC) WWebeb||5401 Fannin Street |
Houston, Texas 77004-6808
|(713) 522-5903||Food Pantry + Clothing (M-F 8:30am), Lunch Program (M - F + Sunday 11 am & 1pm, Backpacks (register in March)||Serves Greater Houston||(713) 522-5903|
|Interfaith of the Woodlands WebWeb||4242 Interfaith Way|
The Woodlands, Texas 77381
|(832) 615-8219||Rent, mortgage, utilities, prescription drugs, food, clothing, emergency shelter, Christmas gifts for kids, primary care, dental, womens health, senior transportation, senior grocery delivery,||Woodlands - 77375, 77380, 77381, 77382, 77384, 77385, 77386, 77389,||(832) 615-8219|
|My Brother's Keeper Outreach Center (not COH Program) WWebeb||12713A Bissonnet |
Houston, TX 77099
|(281) 498-9933||Rent, utilities, Food, School supplies, Thanksgiving / Christmas Meal Program, Christmas gifts for kids, Easter baskets,||77031, 77035, 77036, 77042, 77056, 77071, 77072, 77074, 77081, 77082, 77083, 77085, 77096, 77099, 77401, 77477, 77478,||(281) 498-9933|
|St. Vincent's House - Galveston Web||2-2817 Alfreda Houston Place|
Galveston, Texas 77550
|(409) 763-8521||Vision + Dental clinic, Mental Health Counseling, Speech, Physical Occupational Therapy, Rent, Utilities, Case Management, Transportation,||Galveston - 77591, 77568, 77590, 77563, 77554, 77551, 77550, 77555, 77552, 77553,||(409) 763-8521|
|Hero Houston WWebeb||12335 Kingsride, Box 230, Houston, TX 77024||(713) 932-3996||Offers services to seniors in the Memorial and Spring Branch area. Transportation to medical appointments, light handyman work, help filling out documents and senior service referrals.||Memorial and Spring Branch area. 77024 77043 77055 77079 77080||Monday - Friday 8 to 5|
|Public Utility commission of Texas (PUC) Web||888.782.8477 or 512.936.7500||Will not turn of utilities or electricity if you have a need for medical equipment or you are on life support|
|COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program web||866.454.8387 or 888.782.8477||The Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program (CERP) helps consumers who are having trouble paying bills due to job loss or other related hardship.||Who is eligible for the Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Plan?|
Residential customers that qualify for unemployment or that are low income qualify for the Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Plan. Once approved for the Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program, you will remain on the program for up to six months.
During that time, your electricity provider cannot disconnect your electricity for non-payment.
|Fort Bend County WWeb eb||301 Jackson Street, Richmond, TX 77469||281.238.2273 or 281.633.7795||Rent and utility assistance||Serves Fort Bend County and zip codes:77406, 77417, 77420, 77430, 77435, 77441, 77444, 77451, 77459, 77461, 77464|
77469, 77471, 77476
77478, 77477, 77479
77481, 77485, 77489, 77496, 77494, 77407, 77498, 77545
|Open normal business hours 8 to 5 pm|
In addition to providing you with utility and rental assistance in Houston, these agencies can also help you with basic needs like food, clothing, employment training, and other basic needs.
9. COVID-19 Online Assistance Applications
One of the toughest things about calling nonprofits for utility assistance during the COVID 19 pandemic is actually getting someone on the phone. Hold times can sometimes be over an hour, although one way to bypass this problem is using online assistance applications when available.
Currently, there are 4 local agencies that we know of that offer such a tool. Those agencies are listed below:
- Catholic Charities – You can reach them at 713.526.4611. They open at 7:30 am and close at 5:30 pm.
- Harris County Social Services – Dial them at 713.696.7900. They operate from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Gulf Coast Community Services – Contact them at 713.393.4700. Their business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
- City of Fort Bend – You can also call them at 281.238.2273 or visit their website for more information.
Completing these online assistance applications will not guarantee you assistance although they will save you lots of time when compared to calling these agencies.
10. Houston Light Companies with No Deposit
The last option I want to share with you is 2 companies that offer no deposit electricity plans in Houston.
These plans are good options for low income families who are unable to afford a deposit or if you have poor credit because they do not run credit checks.
The way these plans work is you upload funds to your account. Those funds (say $50) will then go toward the use of utilities. Once you exhaust these funds you will then need to add more money to keep your lights on.
While these are some of the cheapest light companies in Houston, these plans are not for everyone, because there are pros and cons to consider.
If you know that you will have trouble paying an upcoming utility bill the best thing you can do is to contact your energy company as soon as possible. Doing this will help you to avoid disconnections, plus they can provide you with information on utility assistance available to you.
In addition to these 8 places that help pay light bills, you can also use our tool called the Houston Rent + Utility Assistance Finder to find aid.
Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.