Citizens Gas will provide qualified families and individuals with emergency financial assistance and conservation measures. Any aid provided can be a combination of government funded programs as well as those that are funded and coordinated directly by Citizens Gas. Some other options may include payment plans and/or discounts. Applicants will need to meet various low income guidelines, some of which may be based on poverty guidelines and factor in the number of household members. Some of the primary programs are noted below.
The Universal Service Program is one of the resources that many Indianapolis customers take advantage of. It is generally offered to those customers that have applied for the state and federal government's LIHEAP program. More information on LIHEAP is below and is also available at your local community action agency.
For those that are enrolled into the Universal Service Program, or USP, they will receive credits and bill reductions in addition to any LIHEAP benefits. While program terms will vary, monthly bill reductions will be provided and they can range anywhere from about 10 percent to 30 percent of the total bill. The exact savings and discounts will vary and are based on factors such as the applicants total household income level. Contact Citizens Gas or a community action agency.
Citizens Gas customers can look into the Winter Assistance Fund. This relies on donations from the community and is administered by the City of Indianapolis and also the United Way of Central Indiana. It is available as a last resort and is an option for customers that are not eligible for other government or private financial assistance programs. The Winter Assistance Fund provides utility bill assistance to individuals and families from January through June of each year. So the funds are focused on keeping your heat on during the winter and preventing disconnections. Many seniors and low income families with children benefit from it. Call (317) 923-1466 for information or to apply.
Warm Heart Warm House Program is a program that is administered by a non-profit foundation. This may have limited funding as a last resort as well, with a focus on crisis situations. (317) 924-3311.
The Budget Plan is not direct aid but it allows people to pay the same dollar amount each month on their account. It will allow them to spread out the cost of winter heating bills throughout the year. For most Citizens Gas households, heating bills tend to be much higher during the winter. Those will be averaged out with a lower dollar amount summer bill and that average is the amount the customer will need to pay each year.
The State of Indiana Energy Assistance Program (EAP) can provide government grants or credits for paying your energy bills. Senior citizens and households with children take priority. The enrollment period starts in the fall of each year. Low-income customers of Citzens Gas (and really any Indiana utility provider) who become eligible for help from EAP will be enrolled into the USP program.
Citizens Gas also partners with non-profits such as the Community Action of Greater Indianapolis. People from Marion County can call the organization for referrals or support. The phone number is 524-6966. Or if you live outside of Marion County, then call the community action agency in your town or county.
In addition to those options above, Citizens Gas is always willing to talk to customers in Indiana and explore various options. For example, the company may be able to set up flexible payment arrangements with households in an effort to help customers catch up on past due gas and electric bills. Customers should call the utility company at 924-3311 for more information or assistance if they are struggling with paying their gas or heating bills.
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