Three years ago, Angiee Lafferty joined the Multi-Service Center (MSC) staff as an energy assistance counselor. When asked why she wanted to work at MSC, she replied, “I do it because I’ve been on the other side of the table, and it makes me feel good to help. It’s good a karma career.”
Angiee and the other energy assistance counselors, on average, see 10-12 households per day, each with a half-hour appointment no matter the size of the household. They have strict guidelines they need to follow to provide assistance, so it is important that customers have all the necessary documents with them. They must verify identification, residence, and income for every household member.
“The energy assistance program isn’t a crisis program,” shares Angiee. “It doesn’t matter if you have are overdue or have a shut-off notice, you just need to have a bill you need help with and income qualify.”
MSC operates two assistance programs throughout the season which starts in October each year and ends when funds run out, usually in the summer months. Customers can get assistance with bills from Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Tacoma Public Utility, and a variety of oil and propane vendors. Customers in the Lakehaven water district may also be eligible for assistance with water bills.
For assistance, customers must call an appointment line to make an appointment. This year, the system is changing and the new number is 253-517-2263. This new system should improve the customer experience and make it easier to request an appointment. The energy assistance phone line opens on September 26, 2016.