Florida Public Utilities / FPU assistance programs.
Families that receive their energy from Florida Public Utilities can get assistance with paying their bills. The company can direct income qualified customers to non-profits and charities that operate in the region. Some programs are also offered directly by FPU and include payment plans, billing programs, and other aid.
Budget Billing can help people pay a consistent amount for their bills during the course of the year. Anyone who is current with their account can register. The hot summer weather, new appliances, or increasing/decreasing fuel costs are just some of the reasons peoples bills may change from month to month. So the FPU budget billing plan will help stabilize a families monthly energy costs and prevent spikes that would otherwise occur from those or other events. So people will in effect be able to pay the same amount each month until a true up occurs once or so per year.
Those customers with gas or electric should dial 800.427.7712 to enroll. Propane customers can dial 855.583.4973. After you enroll, Florida Public Utilities will average out the account by what you were billed the last 12 months. The only instance in which someone’s monthly amount may differ is if they have received service work during the previous billing cycle or there were some other type of unusual, once time circumstances.
As part of budgeting billing, representatives from FPU will from time to time pro-actively review your Budget Billing account to ensure that monthly budget payments are not drastically under or over stated. If the variance on your account is equivalent to a 10% variance, then it will be recalculated to a new monthly, fixed amount.
In addition to those steps, each and every year, FPU will formally evaluate a customers account. A true up will occur. This will reset the monthly amount going forward and customers will either be billed an additional cost or be provided a credit. Any of those differences will be incorporated into the next year’s recalculated monthly billing amount. This is the result of the true up amounts.
Most of the assistance programs available for low income customers is done in partnership with regional social-service organizations or government assistance. For example, there are a number of charities and non-profits that are located throughout FPU’s service territory, including groups such as the Salvation Army, local churches, or community action agencies. They are ready to assist those in need, as resources allow.
Some of the government befits that are commonly used by customers include LIHEAP. This is a federally funded grant program in which funds can be used to pay cooling or heating bills. A crisis component of LIHEAP can also help FPU customers potentially avoid a disconnection.
Customers that are struggling or facing eviction should call Florida Public Utilities. They will discuss any payment plans or programs that customers can enroll into. The Customer Care Team can be reached at 800.427.7712 for Natural Gas / Electric Customers. Those who use propane should dial 855.583.4973. Some of the other energy companies that work with Florida Public Utilities include Central Florida and Indiantown Gas, Crescent Propane, and the Peninsula Pipeline Company. Assistance may be offered for them as well.
Customers who can’t pay their bill on time should also call the Customer Care Team. Call before you fall behind so you have time and more options. See the phone numbers above. Call FPU immediately to avoid allowing the bill to become delinquent. If you meet conditions or if other circumstances allow, the company may be able to arrange a special payment schedule or they may give the household more time to pay an energy bill.