Power To Care Bill Assistance Program

Can you spare your change for good?

Benton REA’s new bill assistance program, called Power To Care, allows members to round up their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar, donating the spare change to a fund that helps fellow members pay their past-due electric bills, enabling them to keep the lights on.

The average donation is only $6 a year.

Members must opt in to round up their bill and can unenroll at any time.

If your total bill is $105.25, it would be rounded up to $106. The extra 75 cents is donated to the bill assistance program. By rounding up your bill, you would give 0 to 99 cents each month.

Larger one-time and monthly donations will also be accepted from members and nonmembers.

A pile of U.S. coins and a crumpled one dollar bill

From September 1 to October 31, 2020, Benton REA members contributed $2,284.12 to the Power To Care fund. Benton REA matched that donation for a total of $4,568.24 seed money.

How to Contribute

Benton REA members may enroll in one of three ways:

  1. Through your SmartHub online account or the SmartHub app. Click "Power To Care" under the "Billing & Payments" tab and cick "Enroll" to select your round-up options. In the app, tap "Bill & Pay" and "Power To Care" to select the account(s) you wish to enroll.
  2. Call 509-786-2913, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Mail the enrollment form on the back of your payment stub to a Benton REA office. This can be found on page two of your monthly Benton REA billing statement.

Nonmembers who wish to contribute - including individuals, businesses or community organizations - may call 509-786-2913.

Apply for Assistance

Members may apply now for Benton REA Power To Care funds through two local agencies. Benton REA employees are not involved in approving funds, only in distributing them to approved members. Tell the agency you wish to apply for Benton REA’s Power To Care funds.

Yakima County residents should apply through the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Northwest Community Action Center. Call 509-865-7630 or visit yvfwc.com/service/energy-assistance.

Benton County residents should apply through the Benton Franklin Community Action Committee. Call 509-545-4042 or visit bfcac.org/home-base/utilities.

Members who have a residential account with a past-due balance and have a combined gross household income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty guideline are eligible to apply. 

Bill assistance will be granted as a credit on the electric account of the qualifying member once per calendar year. The amount of assistance depends on the family size, household income and amount due on the electric account.

More to Know

Click each question for the answer.

Each month you will donate between 0 and 99 cents. The most you will give is $11.88 per account that is enrolled to round up. The average annual donation will be $6 a year. 

Yes. Members may round up their bill each month and make a one-time additional donation any time and as many times as they want. Members may also choose to add a fixed donation in addition to their monthly round up amount.

Due to the limitations of SmartHub, if you wish to make a one-time contribution without rounding up your bill or a monthly donation on top of your round up amount, please call 509-786-2913 to speak to a billing representative Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Members may unenroll from their monthly contribution at any time by following the steps in their SmartHub account or by calling 509-786-2913 Monday thru Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Benton REA electric accounts on the budget/levelized billing system are always charged a whole dollar amount and therefore cannot be rounded up. 

However, if members on budget/levelized billing wish to donate they are still able to do so. Simply indicate how much you'd like to contribute, either one-time or monthly, when enrolling in Power To Care. Call 509-786-2913 or log in to your SmartHub account to enroll. 

No. Benton REA's Power To Care program is not a 501(c)3 and therefore contributions to this program cannot be deducted on your annual taxes.

Residential members of Benton REA with a past due balance on their electric account and have a combined annual gross household income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty guideline are eligible to apply for these funds.

Bill assistance will be granted as a credit on the qualifying members’ electric account once per calendar year. The amount received depends on the family size, household income and amount due on the electric account.