Many of us have at one time or another joined the army of confusion who face the daunting task of filing our yearly taxes. As if dealing with confusing piles of paperwork every spring isn’t enough, there are some people who must also sort through paper work each winter, to qualify for energy assistance.
Fortunately, the 2nd annual Avista Energy Assistance Day was held on October 10 to provide assistance in completing the necessary paperwork. Over 700 Avista customers made appointments to attend the event at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center.
Avista sponsors the event for Spokane County customers in partnership with SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners), a local and regional advocate for the most vulnerable residents in our community. This year, about 90 Avista volunteers and 50 SNAP staff members worked throughout the day to process the hundreds of pre-screened applicants. Those eligible to receive assistance include income-qualified families and individuals, seniors and people living with disabilities.
Funding for the program comes from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as from Avista’s Low Income Rate Assistance Program (LIRAP) and Project Share.
Comments from event attendees included:
During the event, Avista also conducted a separate Energy Fair, which was also open to the general public. Community service agencies hosted fair booths to provide information on their programs for employment, affordable health insurance, transportation assistance, veteran’s services and air quality. An additional 200 guests came to this and all received a home energy savings kit with a variety of home weatherization items. Demonstrations were also held on how to correctly install the items.