American Electric Power offers several financial assistance, energy conservation and grant programs for low income customers in Texas. The utility company tries to work with customers to prevent a shut off of their service. They may offer payment plans, refer individuals to non-profits or government assistance, and they provide other services. Find information on all of the assistance programs below.
Payment Plans and Extensions – This is usually offered to qualified customers on a one off basis. Low income and struggling customers can request an extended payment arrangement or one-time extension. This option is offered for individuals that are unable to pay their bill on time or that have received a disconnection notice. AEP does what they can to provide a little extra time to help pay your electric bill.
American Electric Power will offer qualified customers the Texas PIPP Plus option. This is an updated version of a program that Texas had in place years ago. PIPP Plus will make monthly payments more affordable for qualified low income customers on a year-round basis. A customer will need to commit to making payments, and if they continue to pay their utility and electric bills on time then the AEP account will be credited to relieve the remainder of the monthly bill. It will also eliminate a portion of the older debt on the customer’s account. To learn more about, or to apply to PIPP Plus, you can dial AEP. Or feel free to call the Public Utilities Commission of Texas at 1-800-686-7826 or dial Texas Department of Development at 1-800-282-0880.
AEP Texas works with many non-profit community-based local and federal organizations as well as private groups to administer the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program, which is the states version of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Cash assistance and grants can be offered as part of CEAP, which is one of the primary programs offered to provide energy bill assistance.
The financial assistance distributed can be used to pay your bills on a monthly basis. In addition, if you are out of fuel or oil, or have received a disconnection notice from AEP, then a crisis component of CEAP can go into effect to help you pay your energy bills. Energy conservation and weatherization type services are also provided as part of this grant program.
Third-Party Notification can assist with preventing the disconnection of a relatives or friends account. Low income customers can help someone avoid electric service disconnection with the free Third-Party Notification assistance program. While the service is often used on accounts of those who are ill or senior citizens, any customer can benefit from it.
What will happen is that the authorized third party on the account will receive copies of the participant’s utility bills if their electric service is at risk of being disconnected due to nonpayment of their energy bill. Note you don’t need to pay the bill, but you will just receive notification.
Save money on your American Electric Power energy bills from weatherization. The grant program is free to income qualified customers. A focus is usually on the elderly, disabled, and very low income families.
Texas families who are living on a low or fixed income may qualify for weatherization repair services or assistance through the gridSMART Community Assistance Program. The service is managed by your local non-profit community action agency, and you can learn more by contacting your local community based agency. Or if that option doesn’t work, dial AEP Texas at 1-877-373-4858.
The AEP Texas organization works closely with the Dollar Energy Fund to offer the Neighbor to Neighbor Fund. This service will help low-income AEP Texas customers who are having difficulty paying their electric bill. This is a donation program, and customers, local businesses, and other groups donate money to Neighbor to Neighbor. All contributions go to help qualified, less fortunate households pay their bills.
Money is collected and distributed by local non-profit and social service agencies as well. At that point AEP will match the funds contributed to Neighbor to Neighbor Program, and the money will go towards helping a low income family pay their heating and utility bills in an emergency.
American Electric Power - Crisis Response Fund – Offers both weatherization and electric bill assistance. Various qualifications need to be met by applicants, and eligibility requirements are between 176 percent and 200 percent of federal government guidelines. AEP Texas customers can apply for help in paying their electric bills and get more information on this service by contacting the company at 1-877-373-4858, they can call their local community action agency, or dial the Salvation Army in their town.
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