SACRAMENTO – As the local economy continues to struggle, many folks find that making ends meet is especially challenging during the holiday season. Though times are tough, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) customers continue to deliver for those in need. Fellow customers who are in need can get assistance paying their electric bill thanks to the EnergyHELP program. EnergyHELP provides an easy way to contribute funds to help struggling customers.

The program has been going nine years now and in that time, SMUD customers have contributed nearly $3 million to EnergyHELP. More than 13,000 customers now voluntarily donate monthly to help struggling low-income SMUD customers keep the lights on.

Here’s how EnergyHELP works: Customers can contribute automatically in their monthly bill payment to any of four partner charity agencies. The donation is tax-deductible, and SMUD sends 100 percent of the proceeds directly to the charity. Those charities then provide as much as $200 in one-time bill assistance to low-income customers whose electric power has been, or is about to be, disconnected for non-payment. While typical monthly donations are between $1 and $10 per month, some customers contribute $20 to $100 per month.

Since EnergyHELP’s start in 2004, a total of $2,926,611 in assistance has been distributed to more than 19,000 local households in crisis through all four EnergyHELP partner charity agencies: Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, the Salvation Army, Travelers Aid Emergency Assistance Agency, and the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership.

Based on customers’ stepping up to help their neighbors, SMUD will surpass $543,000 in annual pledged EnergyHELP contributions by this year’s end.

For more information about SMUD, contributing to EnergyHELP or SMUD’s low-income programs, or to inquire about qualification guidelines for assistance, visit or call SMUD at 1- 888-742-7683.