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Income-Qualifying Programs

photo looking up at electrical tower
The City of Columbia has three main programs that help its citizens get the energy they need. With these programs you can benefit or help others benefit by donating small sums of money. Read below to see how Columbia Water & Light could help you.

C.A.S.H. and H.E.L.P. utility assistance programs

The City of Columbia offers two programs, that customers can sign up for, to assist customers who have difficulty paying their utility bills: 

  • C.A.S.H. (Citizens Assisting Seniors and Handicapped) specifically assists low-income elderly and low-income disabled citizens who have exhausted other resources.
  • H.E.L.P. (Heat Energy and Light Program) provides aid to low-income families with children in one-time emergency situations.

Donations to each program are kept separate. Every dollar goes to help someone in need. A simple donation of $1 or more per month will assist those in need to pay utility bills in one-time emergency situations.

How do I participate in this program?

Special envelops are provided to utility customers once a year in November to sign up for this program. However, customers may sign up to participate in these programs at any time during the year by completing an opens in a new windowonline C.A.S.H. and H.E.L.P. pledge form.

If you prefer, you may fill out the opens in a new windowprintable C.A.S.H. and H.E.L.P. pledge formopens PDF file and return it with your bill payment, or send it to Utility Customer Service. Please indicate if it is a monthly pledge or a one-time donation and the pledge amount.

How do I exit the program?

The form will be in effect until the customer notifies Utility Customer Services from the program.

When will I receive tax records?

Year-to-date contribution will be stated on your February bill for tax records.

Window air conditioner exchange program

To help you save energy and money, Columbia Water & Light and the Voluntary Action Center are offering an exchange program where you can replace your older, inefficient unit with a new one for FREE, for income-qualified electric customers during the summer. Call before bringing your older unit in to confirm eligibility and availability. Contact the Voluntary Action Center for details. 

Voluntary Action Center


403A Vandiver Drive, Columbia, Missouri

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be a current Columbia Water & Light electric customer.
  • Have an older less efficient and/or broken window unit to exchange.
  • Have an annual income at or below 200% of the poverty level (from the table below).
  • Participants in the previous year’s program are not eligible again this year.
Household Size Annual Gross Income Limit Monthly Gross Income Limit
1 $25,520 $2,127
2 $34,480 $2,873
3 $43,440 $3,620
4 $52,400 $4,367
5 $61,360 $5,113
6 $70,320 $5,860
7 $79,280 $6,607
8 $88,240 $7,353
Add for each additional person $8,960 $747

If you meet the criteria and want a new window air conditioning unit, please call the Voluntary Action Center. There are a limited number of units to exchange so it is important to call before bringing in an older unit to exchange. The units being provided are rated at 8,000 BTUs. opens in a new windowDownload PDF of eligibility requirements.

You must bring the following items to participate:

  • An older, inefficient window air conditioner to exchange
  • Proof of your current physical Boone County Address (ID’s or leases will not be accepted)
  • Identification for everyone at your address (originals…no copies)
  • Proof of all income for everyone at your address (including Food Stamps and TANF)
  • Current utility bill for your address

Enhanced Home Performance with Energy Star program

Columbia Water & Light electric customers can make their homes more energy efficient through the Enhanced Home Performance with Energy Star program. This program helps families in our community save money on their energy bills so it can be used for other pressing family needs. This program is administered by the City of Columbia Community Development Department.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Your income has to be lower than the amounts listed on the table below.
  • You must be a Columbia Water & Light electric customer.
  • You must own your home.
Household Size Income*
1 $44,450
2 $50,800
3 $57,150
4 $63,500
5 $68,600
6 $73,700
7 $78,750
8 $83,850
* Income based on June 1, 2020 requirements.

What is covered?

  • As funding allows, you might qualify for these FREE upgrades:*
  • Energy efficiency assessment (to determine upgrades needed)
  • Insulation (attic, wall, rim joist, ductwork and either crawlspace or floor over unconditioned spaces). If you think you need more attic insulation, check our charts and use our attic insulation calculator to determine savings, cost, payoff and rebate amounts.
  • Air & ductwork sealing
  • Replacement of qualified refrigerators

*There is a cap of $2,400 on the free energy efficiency improvements. Additional funding from other resources might be available for some home improvements.

How do I apply?

Contact City of Columbia Water & Light at 573-441-5528 or efficiency@como.govcreate new email to inquire about available funding.

Contact Utility Services


701 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65205




efficiency@como.govcreate new email

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