Equitable Gas financial assistance programs.
Pennsylvania residents that receive their energy service from Equitable Gas have access to a few different financial assistance programs and resources. Most of their options are administered by either the federal government or the state of Pennsylvania, however the company will work with low income customers on payment plans or other options.
There are some resources that can help you pay your bill, if you meet qualifications and other conditions that have been put into place by the energy company. They include Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), weatherization, budget billing and the Customer Assistance Program. More details on each of these is below.
Some of the payment options offered directly by Equitable Gas include the Budget Plan. This is an effective tool that can help individuals manage their monthly and annual natural gas bill. What it does is charges the household the same dollar amount each month over a 12-month period. It averages out your annual usage for those 12 months and that is the amount that a customer needs to pay.
If you were behind on your account and accumulated a past due balance, another similar, but enhanced version is known as Budget Plus. This plan will also average out your account. However in addition to that the customer will be charged an additional, small dollar amount each month to reduce the accumulated balance. So this can slowly chip away at the arrearge and not have their service disconnected. This is even more helpful during the winter months.
The Equitable Gas Customer Assistance Program is for those income qualified customers with problems paying their bills on time. The company will try to offer them an affordable monthly payment on their account for go forward costs. Their obligation will be based on a percentage of their gross household income and other factors. The company will also try to find other solutions as part of CAP and really the last resort is to disconnect a family’s utility service. Call 1-877-577-8735 for details.
If you are faced with broken heating equipment and a crisis during the winter, then the Hardship Fund may be able to help pay for repairs. Low interest loans or a cash grant may be available to assist with the tune up, repair, and maybe even replacement of your equipment. This is an option of last resort.
The federal government and state of Pennsylvania programs include the following. These tend to be for very low income Equitable Gas customers that spend a large percentage of their total income on their utility bills.
- LIHEAP is the main grant program. The official name is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This federal government funded program provides financial assistance to help pay your Equitable Gas winter heating bills. Sometimes funds may be available during the hot summer months as well. Eligibility for LIHEAP will be based on the number of people in your home, the total household income, and total government funding/allotment for a certain year.
- Crisis is a separate component of LIHEAP. It is an option for those low income customers that have received a disconnection or shut off notice on their account. It can also assist those Equitable Gas that are without utility service. Money can pay a deposit, past balance, and funds are disbursed in a reduced amount of time.
- Weatherization is the main government conservation program. Customers can get modifications and improvements made to their home, and all of them have the goal of lowering your energy consumption.
Additional options include the Dollar Energy Fund. This is an emergency program that is run by a non-profit organization that provides financial help to senior citizens, older adults, the disabled and otherwise struggling families. Dollar Fund eligibility will be determined on your income as well as the number of people in your home. Customers need to have been committed and making some form of payments on their account in the past as well.
For more information on any of these options, dial Equitable Gas at 1-877-577-8735 to reach a representative.