Payment plans, government aid, and other assistance is available for Ohio Illuminating Company customers. Thousands of households receive some form of financial help from the energy provider every year and they are committed to working with customers to help them keep their power on.
The Military Deferred Payment Program is for those families that have a member called to active military duty and who have financial difficulties as a result of this. Qualified lower income customers participating in the assistance program may decide to defer paying either all or a part of their Illuminating Company electric bill. Then, at some later date, when the family member in the military service returns home to Ohio a customer service representative from the company will review the payment plans and options that are available to you.
Due date extensions are offered for people on a fixed income, which can include a pension, disability check, or some other monthly disbursement. If you are an Illuminating Company customer that is lower income and that is at least 60 years old you may be able to qualify. It is for people who receive a pension or Social Security check. Or if you receive a disability assistance payment and if your electric bill tends to be due before your monthly benefit check comes, the company may be able to extend your payment date until after your monthly fixed income check arrives.
Payment plans can be entered into. If financial conditions (such as job loss or medical emergency) make it difficult to pay your utility bill on time, the energy provider can set up an extended payment plan for your account. This will allow the customer to keep their power on while they make payments that will be more suited to your individual financial situation. This can even be an option for FirstEnergy customers who have switched to an alternative generation supplier or third company provider. However that supplier needs to offer some type of option for deferred payments.
PIPP Plus - Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus is fully supported by the Illuminating Company. This state of Ohio program is offered as an extended payment arrangement that allows regulated electric and natural gas companies, such as Illuminating, to accept payments that factor in the customers income. So if your income is low enough the amount of your monthly bill will be limited. While the terms of the program may change, customers who do not heat their homes with electricity will be required to pay about six percent of their income each and every month towards their bills. Or they may need to pay $10, whichever is more. This payment is known as the PIPP Plus Amount. Call 1-800-589-3101.
If your income increases and you are no longer eligible for PIPP Plus, then you may be able to enroll in the so called PIPP Plus Arrearage Crediting (PAC) plan. This will assist qualified customers with paying off the amount on their account that is still in arrears/unpaid.
The main government funded program in Ohio is known as Home Energy Assistance Program. This is the state's version of LIHEAP. Call 1-800-589-3101 for information. This is the primary federal government funded cash grant program. It is administered by a network of local community action agencies as well as the State of Ohio Department of Development.
HEAP provides Illuminating Company customers help with paying electricity and winter heating bills. When possible, there may be funds for paying summer cooling or air conditioning bills. There is also an Emergency Component of HEAP. This will distribute an emergency payment for qualified low-income and senior customers facing a disconnection or some form of hardship. The payment from HEAP must be used to avoid a shutoff or restore your Illuminating electric service.
The Ohio Fuel Fund Grant Program can help families maintain their service or it will assist residential customers with the payment of their energy bill. Funds may also be paid out to help establish service or pay for a reconnection. This particular resource is provided through FirstEnergy corporate funds as they are the company that owns Illuminating. Applicants for the Ohio Fuel Fund Grant Program will also need to meet certain household income levels. Your community based agency will process applications and administer it.
Additional non-profits to call for help include your local human services, Salvation Army, community action agencies, veteran's services offices or the soldier's relief commission. Another primary program available is the Community Outreach Opportunity Program and it can assist those faced with a hardship. It relies on donations from company employees, customers and also FirstEnergy shareholders. Call 216-861-8185.
To get more information dial 1-800-589-3101. The Illuminating Company offers these and other assistance programs to low income customers.
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