Customers receive letters and notices that their utility service could be shut off for payment issues
PECO is sending letters to more than 50,000 residential customers who are delinquent on their accounts and believed to be eligible for grants from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The mailing includes an overview of LIHEAP, a notice that their service could be shut off for non-payment, and contact information to apply for the grants.
Customers are leaving money on the table that could help keep their electric and natural gas service on. PECO does not want to have to shut off service because customers have fallen behind on their bill because they did not submit an application for funding.
“We are concerned that some customers are not taking advantage of the money that will help keep their lights and heat on,” said Patricia King, PECO’s manager of Universal Services, the group that oversees the company’s low-income programs. “This is important grant money that customers do not have to pay back. LIHEAP grants are first come, first served so it is essential that customers submit their application now before money runs out.”
Less than $51 million remains in LIHEAP funding for Pennsylvania’s low-income residents. LIHEAP provides cash grants, up to $1,000 per customer, through a direct payment made on behalf of a customer to PECO. Customers do not have to be behind on their bills in order to receive a cash grant. LIHEAP also has money allocated for emergencies, including payments up to $500 to reinstate services that have been shut off for non-payment, and for repairing leaking pipes and broken furnaces.
LIHEAP is a federal program that provides assistance to individuals who are having trouble paying their electric, natural gas or other heating bills. Homeowners, renters, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible.
Grants are based on household size and income, type of fuel used and county of residence. A family of four with an annual household income of $36,450 can qualify for help. To be eligible, annual household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, or:
- $17,820 One-person household
- $24,030 Two-person household
- $30,240 Three-person household
- $36,450 Four-person household
For larger households, the guidelines increase by $6,240 for each additional person.
PECO’s letter campaign is intended to ensure that all eligible households take advantage of the assistance funds available through the state. PECO employees also are canvassing the region to appear at community events to share information about PECO’s assistance programs.
Customers can call 1-800-34-HELP4 or visit peco.com/help, for more information, questions, or help in filling out the application.
PECO customers who are not eligible for low- and fixed-income assistance, but are having trouble managing their energy costs should also consider taking advantage of other programs including budget billing. Budget billing makes short-term fluctuations in monthly bills much easier to handle by dividing annual energy costs evenly throughout the year.
All customers can save money on their monthly energy bills by using energy as efficiently as possible. To find low- and no-cost ways to save energy and money, visit peco.com/smartideas.