Utility Assistance

The Division of Human Services is responsible for determining eligibility for two lottery programs to assist Boone County residents with paying their utility bills. For specific billing questions or to request copies of utility bills, please contact City of Columbia Utilities Customer Service & Billing

HELP program

  • Assists low-income families with children in the home. This assistance is limited to one (1) time per year and five (5) times per lifetime. 

CASH program

  • Assists low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a permanent resident of Boone County.
    • University and College students who are claimed as dependents are not considered permanent residents unless their parent or guardian resides in Boone County; in which case total household income is considered.
    • Residents of institutions (i.e. Phoenix House, McCambridge Center, etc.) are not considered permanent residents unless they maintain a current Boone County residence separate from the institution in which they are residing or were a resident of Boone County immediately prior to entering the institution.
    • Those living in transitional housing can provide a letter from the transitional housing facility to qualify.
    • Those who are homeless can provide a letter from Turning Point.
  • Meet the specific requirements of the applicable program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, refugee or permanent resident alien.
  • Have a household income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • The utility account must be in the applicant’s name.
  • Only members of the applicant’s household are eligible for assistance. 
  • Generally, utility assistance may only be provided for active electric and/or water accounts. However, assistance with other utilities may be provided if necessary to maintain electric service. 

All applicants are carefully screened and counseled by social services specialists.  Appropriate referrals are made to assist the applicant in preventing future emergencies. A social services specialist can assist you in the eligibility process by calling (573) 817-6430.

Utility Assistance Applicationopens PDF file

To donate to HELP or CASH programs:

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, contact City of Columbia Utilities Customer Service & Billing or Boone Electric at (573) 449-4181, or complete and sign the annual donation card included in your bill.  Monthly billings will state your year-to-date contributions for tax records. One hundred percent of contributions go directly to utility bill payments for persons in need.  No administrative costs are paid from your gift.

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