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FirstEnergy Reminds Customers of Available Assistance Programs; Shut-Offs for Nonpayment Resume April 1

 

March 10, 2022



FirstEnergy Corp.’s electric companies in Pennsylvania – including Penelec – are urging residential customers experiencing financial hardship to contact their utility as soon as possible to establish an affordable payment arrangement or obtain assistance before the winter utility disconnection moratorium is lifted and shut-offs for nonpayment resume beginning April 1.

Programs FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania customers may be eligible to participate in include:

• The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): A federally funded grant program administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through its network of local county assistance offices. Eligible customers may receive crisis grants of up to $1,200 to help with past-due electric bills and/or receive heating assistance to help reduce winter heating bills. Applications will be accepted until May 6 or until funds are exhausted. To apply, call LIHEAP at (877) 395-8930 or visit http://www.compass.state.pa.us.

• The Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP): Helps residential customers maintain electric service and/or eliminate their past-due balance. PCAP participants are automatically enrolled in the Equal Payment Plan (EPP) – a budget plan that allows customers to make consistent monthly payments. Customers receive monthly credits to reduce the EPP amount and/or forgiveness credits, which help eliminate the past-due balance at initial enrollment. While payment is not required to re-enroll, if you are a previous PCAP recipient, Dollar Energy Fund (the program administrator), can estimate the amount that would be due at re-enrollment. For enrollment information, call (888) 282-6816, or to apply online, visit dollarenergy.org/myapp.

• Dollar Energy Fund: An emergency hardship fund designed to help residential customers restore or maintain electric service. Eligible customers may receive up to $500 while funds are available. Program funding is provided by FirstEnergy customers, company employees, FirstEnergy shareholders and other sources. The distribution of funds is administered by the Dollar Energy Fund. For information, call (888) 282-6816 or visit http://www.dollarenergy.org.

• Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and the PA Homeowners Assistance Fund (PA HAF): Assistance developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, these programs provide financial assistance for housing-related expenses, including utilities, to assist Pennsylvania renters and homeowners facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For renters, visit http://www.compass.state.pa.us, and for homeowners, visit http://www.pahaf.org.

• 2-1-1 Helpline: A nationwide resource and information helpline that will identify programs in your area that may assist you or someone you know with utility bills or other needs. For more information, call 211, visit http://www.211.org or text your ZIP code to 898211.

Income eligible customers also can reduce their electric bills by making their homes more energy efficient by participating in the WARM Program. This program is 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.

• Can 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 http://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.

In addition to 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 and sign a Medical Certification Form for the eligible customer.

To apply or learn more about other utility bill assistance programs, visit http://www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist and click on “Search Assistance Programs.” Residents are also encouraged to contact their utility’s customer service team at (800) 545-7741 (Penelec and Met-Ed), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

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