Power To Care Bill Assistance Program

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

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.

How to Contribute to the Fund

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 click "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 Thursday, 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.

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.

How to Apply for Assistance

To receive Power to Care fund, you must:

  • Be a residential member of Benton REA,
  • Have a past due balance on your electric account, or have received a electric disconnection notice, and
  • Have a combined annual gross household income equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty guideline income level based on the number of people in the household.

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.

Benton REA strongly encourages members to contact us at 509-786-2913 before applying to ensure you are eligible for assistance funding.

To apply, download the "Power to Care Bill Assistance Application" and return it to a Benton REA office or the address on the form.

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.

To receive Power to Care fund, you must:

  • Be a residential member of Benton REA,
  • Have a past due balance on your electric account, or have received a electric disconnection notice, and
  • Have a combined annual gross household income equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty guideline income level based on the number of people in the household.

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.

The maximum assistance granted is based on the number of people in the household:

Family/Household Size Maximum Assistance Amount
1 $100
2 $125
3 $150
4 $175
5 $200

Additional assistance is available based on the household income as a percentage of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG):

Household Income as % of FPG Additional Assistance
175% and up $0
150% up to but not including 175% $25
100% up to but not including 150% $50
Below 100%

$75

Assistance funds cannot result in a credit balance on the member's account and will not be paid to the member in the form of cash or check.

Assistance is granted first-come-first-served while funding is available. This program is member-supported and relies on donations from Benton REA members.