Special Assistance Fund for Emergencies (SAFE) - Help Paying Utilities

PLEASE NOTE: These funds are meant to be used, primarily, for winter months. If you have extenuating circumstances, contact your regional SAFE partners to see what they can do.

The Special Assistance Fund for Emergencies (SAFE) assists individuals and families who are struggling to pay their utility bills due to income limitations or other unusual circumstances with a one-time payment. Previously administered by NV Energy, the SAFE program is now administered by United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra (UWNNS) and serves those in need in Northern Nevada. The SAFE program supplements state and federal low-income energy assistance programs. It is intended as a gap-filling effort for individuals who need financial assistance to keep their utilities operating.

UWNNS partners with SAFE Partners throughout Northern Nevada to provide access to this program. Individuals in need of assistance must meet with an identified SAFE Partner to apply for potential utility assistance. SAFE Partners are responsible for verifying eligibility of individuals and providing required documentation to UWNNS for final approval. Once eligibility is approved by UWNNS, funds will be paid directly to the participating utility company in the individuals’ name. A list of participating SAFE Partners and the participating utility companies is available below.

This program is supported with grant funds and community donations. The following organizations have provided significant funding to support this program:


NV Energy Foundation


To qualify for assistance, individuals must:

  • Be a customer of record with the utility company for which you are seeking assistance, e.g. NV Energy.
  • Utilities must be for the primary residence in Northern Nevada. Second homes or vacation homes are not eligible for support.
  • Have a utility bill that is at least 30 days past due.
  • Have not received other state or federal low-income energy assistance in the past 12 months.
  • Be experiencing a financial hardship that prohibits the ability to otherwise pay the utility bill.

What utilities are currently available? 

  • NV Energy (both electricity and gas) for individuals in Northern Nevada  

Funding is limited and best efforts are made to ensure that funds are distributed in a fair and ethical manner. The SAFE program follows these central guidelines:  

  • SAFE funds can only be received once during a 12-month period.  

  • Your utility bill must be at least 30 days past due before SAFE funds are available.  

  • You will need to provide a copy of your most recent utility bill, e.g. NV Energy bill.  

  • You are ineligible to receive SAFE funds if you have been approved for another state or federal low-income energy assistance program in the past 12 months, or if you have a pending application for such a program. 

  • Individuals in need must apply for assistance through a participating SAFE Partner. SAFE Partners will determine eligibility based on these and additional program guidelines.  

Contact a local SAFE Partner to begin the process. SAFE Partner will discuss eligibility requirements and request submission of required documentation. Initial documentation includes:  

  • a copy of the most recent utility bill showing the amount due, account number, and due date.   

  • Individuals will be asked to show photo identification to verify identify and match to utility bill. 

  • SAFE Partners will work with individuals to complete required application forms. 

  • SAFE Partners may ask for additional information, including monthly expenses, to establish need. 

  • If an individual is eligible and funding is available, the SAFE Partner will then forward the application to UWNNS for review and potential payment to the utility company.  

Carson City, Lyon, and Storey County

  • Friends In Services Helping (FISH) 

    138 E. Long St.  

    Carson City, NV 89706 



Churchill County

Douglas County

Elko County

Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing County

Mineral County

  • Consolidated Agencies of Human Services (CAHS) 

    924 5th Street                                        

    Hawthorne NV 89415 

    775 945 2471 


Nye County

Washoe County


  • Washoe County School District  

    1950 Villanova Dr                          

     Reno, NV, 89502 

    775-204-1408 EXT #3 



If you are not eligible for the SAFE program, you may also consider contacting Nevada 211:  

  • By texting 211  

  • By calling 2-1-1 or 1-866-535-5654 

  • You can also chat with Nevada 211 or download their app through the webpage 

  • Nevada 211 is a non-emergency number that is available 24/7 throughout the year, regardless of holidays or other closures. Nevada 211 is a statewide resource that can share with you any available resources in your area.