Energy grants a godsend for residents on tight budgets

By SHARON SALYER

Herald Writer

As a former World War II Red Cross nurse based in Russia during the frigid winter of 1943, Ruth Rea says she knows how to cope with cold weather.

"I have on long pants, winter socks, a long-sleeve shirt and a sweater," she said of how she was dressed in her Silver Lake home to cope with the recent cold snap.

"I’ll make it through anything. I’m not complaining," said Rea, who will celebrate her 78th birthday Christmas Day.

But living on a budget of $750 a month, "every penny counts," she said.

So she’s especially grateful for the $220 she received to help pay for electricity and heating costs this winter, a grant from the Snohomish County Energy Assistance Program.

Her worry: Either pride or not knowing about the program will prevent other seniors and low-income individuals from seeking the help they need.

"There’s help out there," she said. "I’ve had to take a couple of people by the hand … and say … this is the only way we can do it this winter."

The county program has a little more than $1 million in grants to help qualifying low-income individuals and families pay their heating and electricity bills this winter. Other money is available elsewhere.

Recent price increases in electricity and natural gas rates are expected to stress the budgets of many area families, but hit especially hard are those on fixed or low incomes.

Dan Anderson of Arlington is another area resident who has benefited from the program, receiving a $332 grant.

"They were very, very helpful to me," he said of program employees, adding, "I was in and out in 15 minutes.

"I’ve been working close to 30 years; I never knew this type of stuff would come in handy," he said of the energy grant he received.

Anderson, 51, said he was disabled by a head injury he received in 1967. After recently losing a job, he is applying for Social Security disability payments. Until then, he’s living on $329 a month he said he receives from the state, food stamps and help he gets from family members who pay his $465 monthly rent on a 55-by-15-foot trailer.

"I was worried about this cold spell, I was really shook up," Anderson said of how the increase in power rates will affect him.

With the PUD announcing a power rate increase of 33 percent on Wednesday, "There’s a whole lot of people in the state of Washington that will be hurting," he said.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Former president Donald Trump is seen with a bloody ear as he is assisted off the stage during a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., on Saturday. MUST CREDIT: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting

Isaac Arnsdorf, Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post BUTLER, Pa. - The… Continue reading

Biden, Democrats, Republicans denounce shooting at Trump rally

Reaction pours in from government leaders

A bloodied Donald Trump is surrounded by Secret Service agents at a campaign rally in Butler, Pa, on Saturday, July, 13, 2024. The former president was rushed off stage at rally after sounds like shots; the former president was escorted into his motorcade at his rally in Butler, Pa., a rural town about an hour north of Pittsburgh. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Trump rally shooting investigated as assassination attempt

President Joe Biden gave a brief televised statement, condemning the violence as “sick.”

Firefighters and EMTs with Sky Valley Fire tour Eagle Falls while on an observational trip on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, near Index, Washington. (Jordan Hansen / The Herald)
Beautiful but deadly: Drownings common at Eagle Falls, other local waters

Locals and firefighters are sounding the alarm as Eagle Falls and the Granite Falls Fish Ladder have claimed five lives this year.

A view of the south eastern area of the Lake Stevens that includes lakeshore and UGA that is a part of the city's annexation area on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 in Lake Stevens, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens fight to take over sewer district could end soon

The city and sewer district have been locked in a yearslong dispute. A judge could put an end to the stalemate this month.

Lynnwood appoints new council member after abrupt resignation

Derica Escamilla will take the seat vacated by Shirley Sutton in May, who claimed the city had a “total lack of leadership.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.