Florida Power and Light low income assistance.
Florida Power and Light customers can access several assistance programs in order to get help with paying utility, electric, and light bills. Resources and funding are limited, and not everyone will be able to qualify. However if you are behind on paying your FPL utility bills, or if you are facing a shut off, look into the different options below.
Florida Power and Light Care to Share Program
This is funded by donations from businesses, charities, customers, and FPL The program was created to provide emergency financial assistance grants and funds to struggling customers who are faced with an unexpected crisis. The service is run at the local level, and it is managed by local government agencies and nonprofits that qualify customers based on criteria established by Florida Power and Light.
In total, the Care to Share program can provide up to $500 that can be used to pay for electric and utility bills. People can apply at most once per year. Some exceptions can be made from time to time under special conditions.
To apply for this crisis program, you can dial Florida Power and Light Customer Service at 1-800-226-3545, call your local Salvation Army, or dial other non-profits or referral services in your town or county. Many government social service offices also have information on the Care to Share program too.
Each agency that manages the program at the local level decides who gets funds for paying electric bills and who doesn’t. The non-profits in general use the program eligibility guidelines, but each agency may decide, on their own, to add additional criteria, based on availability of funding, volume of applicants or other factors. Funds are very limited and demand is high. Priority is usually given to households with children under 10 years old, seniors or those families with disabled members.
In order to get financial assistance from the Care to Share program, several conditions need to be met. They include:
- The customer must be able to provide proof of a personal or family crisis, they need to be behind on paying their bills and have a disconnect notice or final notice.
- They must have a plan to pay future electric bills as the help provided is only for a defined period of time.
- Applicants need to have applied for and used all other utility bill assistance programs, including both government and private resources. So the Care to Share program that is available for FPL customers is meant to serve as a last resort.
- A family emergency needs to be in effect, and the household must show proof of the financial hardship and show why they are falling behind on paying bills.
- Certain low income levels need to be met.
Another resource offered by Florida Power and Light is the ASSIST Program. This is a partnership of non-profit agencies and social service organizations that operate in the region. These various organizations provide a host of energy assistance programs. Dial 1-800-226-3545 for more information, and some of the services offered to low income FPL customers by ASSIST include:
- Emergency Home Energy Assistance (EHEAEP) program for Elderly, which is a federal government funded assistance program for seniors over 60.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – Open to income qualified people of any age. This is another federal and state of Florida utility assistance program.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency - Emergency Food and Shelter Program (FEMA/EFSP) – This can offer financial assistance for housing needs, including electric and light bills.
- Energy conservation measures are provided by Weatherization. This is a free, federal government supported resource that can improve the integrity of a home and reduce the customer’s total energy usage.
To further expand on Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), this is a federal funded grant program. Applications are accepted at your local community action agency, and those agencies also provide funds to qualified applicants. Florida Power and Light partners with your local community action agency to help distribute grants and manage the program.
Only low income households can qualify for LIHEAP. Funding is limited, but priority is given to seniors, elderly, disabled, and people who are faced with a crisis. Funds can be quickly provided if someone is faced with a disconnection of their power.
The Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly (EHEAEP) program can help residents who are 60 or older and who are experiencing a crisis with paying their energy bills.
This can include a broken heating or cooling system, an impending cut-off of utility services, lack of heating fuel or wood, or just high cooling or heating bills caused by unusual circumstances. This program can help Florida Power and Light customers at most twice per year, including once in the winter and once in the summer. You will need to apply, and financial eligibility is determined for this program, by a local community agency or local Salvation Army office that is designated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
The United States government created the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). This can help people who are faced with homelessness (which can include having their power shut off) and those who are hungry or facing eviction. Federal government funds and grants can be used to pay energy bills for Florida Power and Light customers. Currently the program can pay for up to one month’s worth of utility bills, reconnection fees, and other financial assistance.
Call Florida Power and Light at 1-800-226-3545 for information.