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Duke Energy assistance programs.

Duke Energy administers a number of low income and financial assistance programs. Customers can receive help to pay utility bills in an emergency and other types of support for their monthly energy bill expenses. In addition Duke Power has information on state, local and federal government assistance and conservation programs. Since they operate across a wide region, Duke Energy has different utility bill assistance programs for its customers in North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and South Carolina.

Duke Energy Cooling Assistance Program can provide help to pay air conditioning and cooling bills during the hotter summer months in its service territory. Funds for this program are provided by the Duke Energy Foundation. Applications are taken at the local level by non-profits and charities (such as the Salvation Army or a community action agency). You can contact non-profits in your area as these are the main groups that Duke works with to administer the cooling program.

Heating bill assistance is provided by Share the Warmth. Generous contributions from Duke Power customers and local businesses fund this option. All contributions made to the program by the general public are tax deductible. The Share the Warmth program may help with the payment of winter heating costs, regardless of a customer’s energy source. So money can pay for fuel oil, kerosene, wood, natural gas, wood, and other heating sources.

Duke Energy payment plans – The energy provider runs programs to assist those who are having trouble paying their power bills. Whether it is an abatement or offering the family more time to get back on track, if you need utility or electric bill assistance, or even if you know someone who is struggling and who needs help, then please call Duke Energy as soon as possible. They will review payment plans with you, explore government energy assistance programs, or see if you qualify for special energy programs administered directly by Duke Energy for disabled, elderly, or ill customers.

Free fans can be provided to senior citizens or those with a medical issue. The Duke Energy Foundation funds a program that provides for the purchase of box type fans for senior citizens, and it is known as the Fan-Heat Relief Program. It is administered by state and local non-profit agencies, including the N.C. Department of Human Resources/Division of Aging, and is really effective at helping families in the Carolinas.




Moratorium on utility disconnections – Both South and North Carolina have in place laws that created a prohibition against disconnecting electric service to residential customers during a certain time of the year. A moratorium is only offered for those customers who meet eligibility requirements that are established by the South Carolina Public Service Commission or the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

The rules governing this can change from year to year. In general, the regulations are in effect from South Carolina Moratorium Period - December 1 through March 31 (4 months) as well as North Carolina Moratorium Period - November 1 through March 31. (5 months).

Percentage of Income Payment Plan – This is a resource offered in Ohio by all utility companies, including Duke. The PIPP is a payment assistance plan for struggling people, and it was designed to help participants make minimum monthly payments on their utility bill to avoid disconnection of their gas or electric service.

Referrals – Duke Energy partners with many local charities, non-profits and assistance agencies. They have information on programs available across the Carolinas, Ohio, Indiana, and other states. The utility company can refer customers to local state and county programs that may be able to help customers pay their electric bills as well as heating costs during the winter months. Duke Energy and its customers support these various local programs through services such as the Share the Warmth program.

Elderly and Special Needs customers – Customers who are 65 or older, disabled, or faced with a medical condition can often qualify for financial assistance or grants from Special Needs programs. Duke Energy will try to assist those customers who have special needs by offering discounts, payment plans, or help for paying their utility bills.

Medical Alert – If the disconnection of electric service for a past due utility bill could adversely affect the well-being of an occupant, then this assistance program was created to help ensure careful handling of those accounts to ensure power is maintained if at all possible.





Home Energy Assistance Program – This is offered for low income households, and this program may help customers pay part of their heating bills by issuing them a cash grant. The enrollment period starts in the fall, and the federal government funded Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) may help low income households and seniors pay part of their monthly heating bills.

Another focus of HEAP is on assisting households that use Duke and that have a disabled member. All qualified families who pay their home energy costs or bills directly or indirectly as a non-designated portion of their rent may receive benefits from HEAP too.

WinterCare Program – This is a service sponsored directly by Duke Energy. It is offered during the winter, and it can assist those in need with paying their heating bills during the colder months. In general it will provide onetime cash payment or grant towards bills.

Duke Energy and Salvation Army HeatShare – This service is for Ohio customers only, so it is not as wide ranging. It can help elderly and/or lower income customers pay their winter heating bills. The Salvation Army in Ohio as well as Duke Energy have partnered together to create HeatShare in Ohio.

Weatherization Program - This energy conservation program is offered in all states, but Duke Power administers it in Ohio and North Carolina. It was created to help low-income citizens reduce expenses by saving energy through the implementation of various free or low cost efficiency measures, the installation of conservation materials into the home or apartment, and even provide free advice such as energy education.

Helping Hand - Low-income customers who are disabled or who are at least 60 years old may receive grants or financial assistance in paying part of their monthly heating bills. Donations from generous Duke Energy employees, shareholders, and customers fund this donation program to help with electric bills and other utility costs.

It usually runs during the fall, and that is when people can apply. The funds will be disbursed several weeks later. Beginning each and every fall, the Duke Energy Helping Hand Program will provide immediate financial assistance and cash grants to disabled and senior customers who meet certain conditions. The Duke Power Helping Hand Program will provide a one-time cash payment of $100 to energy bills.

Ohio Gas Residential Low Income Pilot Program – This provides discounts on bills to various working poor families. If you qualify as a low income household per program guidelines and if your household uses less than 900 ccf of natural gas annually, you may be eligible to participate in this new discount program.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is supported by Duke. This is the primary federal government funded utility bill assistance program and is offered in all states. The LIHEAP program provides grants and cash assistance to low-income households in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky, and all other regions. Usually your local community action agency or social services office will administer it. There are two main parts to LIHEAP.





  • Crisis – If you are facing a disconnection or some other emergency, then this service provides immediate assistance to eligible households experiencing a home heating crisis. The money for an outstanding bill can be paid out in a matter of days.
  • Subsidy – More of ongoing seasonal assistance to individuals or families that use Duke Energy as their provider. Provides financial assistance to all eligible households. Applications are usually taken during the fall for the winter period, and spring for summer cooling bills.

Contact information for financial help from Duke Energy

Call Duke Energy at 1-800-777-9898 to get information on these are other financial assistance programs, discounts, and payment plans.

By Jon McNamara

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