Imperial, California - More senior citizens can take advantage of IID’s energy assistance programs after the IID Board of Directors unanimously approved lowering the qualifying age from 65 to 62, Tuesday.
Customers who are age 62 or older and qualify for IID’s Residential Assistance Program can receive a 30 percent discount on their electric bill. Customers currently enrolled in the REAP program and meet the new age requirements will see the discount reflected starting with the May billing month.
Approximately 700 IID electrical customer accounts will benefit from the change.
Prior to the board’s action, the district had approximately 5,300 accounts from senior citizens enrolled in the Residential Energy Assistance Program. The REAP program provides a 20 percent discount on electric bills to qualifying customers, with a 30 percent discount for qualifying seniors.
The board’s action, Tuesday, essentially changed the definition of what a senior citizen is so that more seniors can benefit from assistance with their electric bills.
“By lowering the senior qualifying age, more people will be able to benefit from this important assistance program,” said Kevin Kelley, general manager. “This is something the Board has been concerned about for some time, and it comes before the weather heats up and when it will help the most.”
The change will cost the district about $90,000 annually, a fraction of the REAP program’s total budget.
Participating seniors need to reapply for the program every two years. All other REAP customers must reapply annually.
IID’s customer assistance programs are funded by a 2.85 percent public benefit charge that is billed to all electric customers.