Be an MVP by Supporting UAP

Published on March 29, 2024


The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) invites community members to offer some assistance and watch as the CommuniTREE fills out with leaves throughout the month of April.

Hanging across from the Customer Care Center in the Los Alamos County Municipal Building, the CommuniTREE is often decorated to symbolize the positive aspects of our community. During April, anyone who visits the Customer Care Center to contribute to the Utilities Assistance Program (UAP) is invited to hang a leaf on the tree.

“Our goal is to see the tree progress from bare on April 1 to full bloom by the end of the month,” said Business Operations Manager Joann Gentry. “We’ve been working to increase our assistance fund to a sustainable level this year and we’ve seen the balance rise but we still have a way to go before we can fulfill all requests for assistance.”

The UAP provides regular assistance to qualified, low-income residential customers as well as customers who are qualified through the Social Security Administration for Supplemental Security Income (generally customers over the age of 65). The program also allows one-time assistance to account holders who demonstrate need due to unforeseen, unusual circumstances.

The UAP is funded through the generous, voluntary contributions of utility customers and community members. Gentry pointed out that no contribution is too small, and even simply rounding up utility bill payments to the next dollar helps.

“What has the greatest impact, though, are the sustainable contributions received from customers who have signed up to donate monthly through their utility bills,” she said. “When our fund appeared to be drying up in the fall, the customers who took a moment to set up monthly contributions saved the day.”

In addition to recognizing one-time donors with their names on leaves, DPU will recognize those who provide sustainable donations every month through their bills by hanging paper lightbulbs identifying those donors above the tree.

Throughout the month, everyone who donates will be invited to put their name in a raffle for DPU stickers and swag featuring Blinky, Toasty, Droppy and Duke, DPU’s emoji mascots. The winning name will be drawn on April 30 at 4 p.m.

To learn more about the UAP, please visit


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