Bill Assistance Program

Can you spare your change for good?

Benton REA’s new bill assistance program 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.

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

Members must opt in to round up their bill and can unenroll at any time. Larger one-time and monthly donations will also be accepted from members and nonmembers.

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.

From September 1 to October 31, 2020, Benton REA will make a  matching donation to the bill assistance fund up to $5,000.

For example, if $2,000 is donated by October 31, Benton REA will also donate $2,000. If $5,000 or more is donated Benton REA will add $5,000 to the fund.

How to Contribute

Benton REA members may enroll in one of three ways:

  1. Through your SmartHub online account or the SmartHub app. Click "Bill Assistance Program" under the "Billing & Payments" tab and cick "Enroll" to select your round-up options. In the app, tap "Bill & Pay" and "Bill Assistance Program" 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.

Help Choose A Name

The bill assistance program is seeking a name. Benton REA members and anyone who donates to the program can vote on the official name. Call 509-786-8265 to request a paper survey.

Which name do you like?

    • Power Up
    • Power On
    • Power to Care
    • Project Help
    • Project Share
    • Members Helping Members
    • Members for Members

Apply for Assistance

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. Information about applying for bill assistance will be
available this fall after funding is raised. Check back later in 2020 for more information. 

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 the bill assistance program. Call 509-786-2913 or log in to your SmartHub account to enroll. 

No. Benton REA's bill assistance 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.