Utility Bill Assistance and Payment Plans

Message from the Department of Public Utilities

The Department of Public Utilities realizes these are challenging times and that resolving unpaid bills can be particularly difficult. This letter outlines two potential sources of immediate assistance.

CARES Act Utility Bill Assistance

The federal Coronavirus, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides funding to help eligible individuals receive financial assistance for utility-related costs, such as unpaid or overdue charges that are at a point of service disruption.

The City of Columbus has announced additional funds of the federal CARES Act funding is available for utility assistance grants. These funds will be distributed through the City to help families who have been unable to pay for utilities such as water service because of issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. This program includes one-time payment assistance of up to $750 toward an eligible Columbus water/sewer/stormwater bill and/or up to $500 toward an eligible Columbus power bill

To be eligible for the assistance, applicants must, 1) have an active City of Columbus water, sewer or power account for their residence in their name (or spouse’s name); 2) be at least 90 days delinquent in payment; and, 3) meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Household income less than 150% of the current U.S. Bureau of Census federal poverty level;
  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a qualifying low income program; or
  • Provide proof of job loss or reduction in income due to the pandemic.

Utility Payment Plan and Extensions

The Department of Public Utilities can set up a payment plan on your city utilities bill. You may request an extension of one to three months on your current charges. If approved, the first payment would be due within 30 days, with each following payment due 30 days thereafter – for up to three months – to bring charges current. Payment coupons and a confirmation email will be sent with your payment arrangement details. Please note that any new bills that emerge after the payment plan is granted are due by their own established due dates and must be paid on time to keep the payment arrangement in place. Residential water/sewer bills are issued every three months.

For additional details about these programs or to apply online, please visit https://www.columbus.gov/payassist

You can also call our Customer Service Center at 614 645-8276 (M-F 7 am – 6 pm), or e-mail BillAssist@columbus.gov

The Department of Public Utilities looks forward to working with you to resolve unpaid charges in the best way possible. Thank you.