Utility Bill Reduced Rates

Reduced rates are available for water, sewer and storm water utilities provided by the City of Bellingham. Customers are eligible for a discount on their bill if they are a low income, senior, or disabled adult living in a residence receiving a separate City of Bellingham water or sewer bill. The following table provides the age and income requirements to qualify for a discount:

Effective January 1, 2020

Age
Income
62+$42,043 or less
18+
$42,043 or less and
receiving permanent Social Security Disability payments

Rate Reduction

Qualified customers receive a reduction on their utility bill by the following percentages:

Household Income
Percent Reduction
0 – 50% of the qualifying income75%
51% – 75% of the qualifying income50%
76% – 100% of the qualifying income25%

Income

Single-family household income includes income from all persons living in the home. This includes income received from wages, retirement benefits, retirement income including IRA’s, social security, supplemental security income (SSI), permanent social security disability income (SSDI), VA Benefits, interest income from savings, bonds, annuities, etc., gross rental income, gross business income, etc. Copies of tax returns with all schedules and supporting documentation must be submitted. If you are applying for a disability reduction, you must provide a current (less than three months old) statement of eligibility, plus the above requirements. You can call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 to request benefit verification.

Application Process

To apply for reduced rates, complete the City of Bellingham Application for Reduced Utility Rates (PDF) and mail or place in the brown drop box located in the parking lot behind City Hall at 210 Lottie St. Bellingham, WA 98225. Be sure to include a copy of the previous year’s tax return, along with copies of all schedules and supporting documentation for every member of your household. Please do NOT include original documentation. If you need assistance completing your application, call the Finance Department at 360-778-8010 and we can gladly assist you over the phone.

Notification of Change

Customers receiving rate reductions are required to notify the Finance Department immediately when household income level changes, disabled status changes, the house is sold, home is unoccupied, or the house is no longer the primary residence.

Nonprofit Agencies Offering Affordable Housing

The City offers reduced rates to agencies providing affordable housing for low income households. Agencies must be nonprofits or the Bellingham Housing Authority, and the reduced rate is only available for low-income housing where rents are restricted by a federal, state or city housing program for households earning less than 60 percent (60%) of area median income. See BMC 15.04.070(C). Please find the application here. For additional information, please contact Samya Lutz at 360-778-8385.

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