The Department of Public Service does not provide direct financial assistance to consumers. However, there are programs to help consumers who face financial difficulties in establishing, maintaining, and/or restoring utility service. Here are some places to get help:
Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides eligible Vermont tenants at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability rental assistance, as well as assistance with paying utility and fuel bills.
Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program
The Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program will provide income-eligible homeowners who have experienced a fianancial hardship due to COVID-19 assistance* to avoid home foreclosure or homeowner displacement.
*with overdue mortgage payments, homeowners' association fees, property taxes, and/or utilities.
Federal Affordable Connectivity Program
The federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Some participating providers are offering an additional benefit of up to a $100 discount off the purchase of computers or tablets if the consumer pays more than $10 but less than $50 towards the purchase of the device. Households enrolled in the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) as of December 31, 2021 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. Most Emergency Broadband households will not have to take any action to continue receiving the new $30 monthly benefit after March1, 2022. If your out of pocket costs will increase as a result of the reduced monthly benefit amount, your service provider will contact you to let you know if you need to take any additional steps in order to continue to receive an Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.
Contact your provider if you are concerned about a possible increase in your monthly service bill or are interested in changing to a different service plan.
Household Water Assistance Program
The Household Water Assistance Program is a federally funded program, administered by the Economic Services Divison of the Department for Children and Families, that helps eligible low-income Vermont households with their past-due water and wastewater bills, as well as back charges and fees associated with non or late payment.
Both Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas offer discounts to qualifying low-income customers. For more information, or to download an application for either program, please see the Vermont Department for Children and Families Energy Assistance webpage.
Agencies Providing Financial Assistance
Information about state and other agencies that offer financial assistance to consumers can be found on the Where to Get Financial Assistance webpage.
Lifeline Telecommunications Program
Lifeline is a federal program that provides to eligible households a $5.25 monthly discount on phone-only service or phone and internet bundled service that meets the minimum service standards for voice service, or a $9.25 monthly discount for internet-only service or bundled voice and internet service that meets the minimum service standards for internet service. Vermont’s Universal Service Fund (VUSF) provides an additional discount on telephone service only; the amount varies depending on the provider and the cost of service, but may not exceed $4.25 per month or the amount of the VUSF credit you received as of November 1, 2017. For more information, please visit the Lifeline Telecommunications Program webpage.
Programs for Consumers with Disabilities
Vermont offers consumers with disabilities several programs to help stay connected to the telephone system. Please see the Resources for People with Disabilities webpage for more information.
Heating Fuel (Group Discounts)
There are several fuel-group organizations that help their members save money by purchasing heating fuel in bulk at discounted rates negotiated with commercial fuel dealers. These include (but are not necessarily limited to): Energy Co-op of Vermont, Ruth Clark Fuel Group (802-433-6317), and VHeat Fuel Buying Program (through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union).