GREENSBURG – With cold weather now affecting the region, financial assistance programs are available for FirstEnergy Corp. customers in Pennsylvania who need help with winter heating bills.
FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities include Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), West Penn Power and Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power).
Assistance to qualifying customers is available through the Dollar Energy Fund, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP).
Dollar Energy Fund is an emergency hardship fund designed to help residential customers restore or maintain electric service. Eligible customers may receive up to $500.
Program funding is provided by FirstEnergy customers, company employees and FirstEnergy shareholders. The distribution of funds is administered by the Dollar Energy Fund. For information call 888-282-6816 or visit www.dollarenergy.org.
LIHEAP is a federally-funded grant program administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through its network of local county assistance offices.
Eligible customers may receive up to $1,000 to help with heating bills. LIHEAP funds may be used to pay an electric bill even if electricity is not the main source of heat. For information about LIHEAP call 866-857-7095 or visit www.compass.state.pa.us.
The Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP) helps residential customers maintain electric service and eliminate their past-due balance by offering a reduced bill that is based on a percentage of income and debt forgiveness.
Debt forgiveness credits are applied directly to participants’ electric service accounts in recognition of payments that are made in-full.
PCAP participants also are automatically enrolled in the Equal Payment Plan (EPP) – a budget plan that provides the ability to make consistent monthly payments.
Enrollment in the EPP is a requirement for PCAP and customers must have a gross household income at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For enrollment information call 888-282-6816.
Low-income customers also can reduce their electric bills by making their homes more energy efficient by participating in the WARM Program, which is administered by the Dollar Energy Fund. Available to homeowners and renters with landlord approval, WARM Program participants:
- Receive an in-home energy evaluation
- Work with a trained energy educator to create an energy-savings plan
- Have the opportunity to receive energy-saving light bulbs; caulking and weather-stripping installed in their home; electric water heater inspections; and refrigerator/freezer testing and possible replacement.
The specific improvements that a customer is eligible to receive will be determined during the home energy evaluation. While no payment is required for these installations or services, there are household income requirements and electricity use requirements.
For more information, customers can call Dollar Energy Fund at 888-282-6816, or apply online at www.energysavepa.com.
FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania residential customers also can manage their electric bills through the Equal Payment Plan (EPP).
With EPP, customers can make consistent monthly payments to avoid seasonal highs and lows in their electric bills. To apply or learn more about other company programs, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist or call 800-545-7741.
In addition to the payment options, FirstEnergy offers a Medical Certification program. Disconnection of electric service resulting from overdue bills can be delayed up to 30 days if it is determined that the loss of electric service would be especially dangerous to the health of a permanent member of a customer’s household.
An appropriate health care professional must complete a Medical Certification Form describing the resident’s medical condition.
The Medical Certification process also can be used to restore electric service after a customer has been disconnected.
FirstEnergy also offers a program called Third Party Notification where a relative, friend, clergy or social service agency can be notified along with the customer if electric service is about to be disconnected.
The third party is not obligated to pay the overdue bills but can help make payment arrangements for the customer who might have difficulty paying their bill.