Low income customers can get help from Duquesne Light. A number of services and resources can provide customers with emergency assistance to help them maintain their electric service. They can enroll into affordable payment plans and programs can assist families with moving toward greater self sufficiency from services such as weatherization. Duquesne Light representatives can help people by referring them to government aid, or help them apply for direct assistance.
The most common program that people apply for is LIHEAP, or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This federal government resource runs from November 1 to March 31, and very low income families can apply. The income scales are based on poverty guidelines. Customers of Duquesne Light can receive up to $1000 (depending on funding) for their bills or up to $300 if they are faced with a crisis, such as an imminent shut off of their power. The LIHEAP Crisis Program also offers help with paying for needed repairs to your furnace or pipes.
Payment assistance plans are offered and can be negotiated. One of them is the Universal Services Program. It provides the struggling Duquesne Light customer with additional time to pay their bill. The resource can help those in need gain access to affordable energy and financial aid.
The Customer Assistance Program can also help people who are struggling enter into a payment plan. The energy company will do whatever it can to work with customers to help them keep their power on. Financial aid is offered during both the summer (for cooling bills) and winter (for heating costs).
The Dollar Energy Fund is run by non-profit organizations in Pennsylvania. Applicants to this program must have paid at least $150 on their electric account within the last 90 days. Exceptions are made for senior citizens and the elderly, who need to have paid just $100 in the last 90 days. The current balance on an account needs to be at least $100, or seniors can be more current. Those are just some of the general guidelines that are in place for Duquesne Light customers.
Families will only receive help while funding is available. The amount of money allocated to helping low to moderate income families goes quickly. This is a grant program, so if you qualify for any of these assistance resources, you will not have to pay the money back and no lien will be put against your home.
Save money from the Home Weatherization Program, which provides the low income and seniors with energy-saving improvements, such as weather-stripping, caulking, and insulation. This is offered to low- and fixed-income Duquesne Light households, regardless of whether they own or rent their home. Weatherization can provide assistance in reducing a customer’s electric consumption to a more affordable level.
Payment agreements will be offered on a one off basis to customers who are faced with an emergency or crisis. The reality is that from time to time, a short term crisis or situation will arise and you may fall behind on your monthly electric bill payments. Each plan entered into will require the individual to adhere to all terms and conditions. Call to speak to a customer service representative right away.
Most Duquesne Light payment agreements will allow a customer to pay the unpaid balance/arreage on their account in one or more agreed upon payments. The customer needs to pay their current bills, and pay the balance over a negotiated, reasonable time frame.
As soon as you are faced with a crisis, or you think you may fall behind, call to speak to a customer service representative. The sooner you call the more options you will have.
The objective of the company is to offer each customer the most effective payment plan that will help them pay off any balance on their account. The standard payment agreements are based on a customer's household size, balance on their account, average usage, past payment history, and household income.
Sometimes a payment program is not the best option. In these case the customer service representative will refer people to other resources such as LIHEAP Cash and Crisis grants, the Customer Assistance Program (CAP), Dollar Energy Fund, Smart Comfort, or weatherization. All of these are referenced above.
To learn about any of these options, dial Duquesne Light at 1-888-393-7600 or 412-393-7200. Or you can contact your local community action agency in Pennsylvania.
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