Assistance programs from Peoples Gas in Florida.
A number of resources are available to help income qualified Peoples Gas customers in Florida pay their natural gas bills. Most of the aid is provided from federal government resources, however additional assistance may be offered by local non-profit agencies, charities, or similar organizations. If you, your neighbor or someone you are caring for needs financial assistance in order to keep their service on and prevent a disconnection, the following organizations and assistance programs may be able to help.
Seniors and homes with a member who is 60 years of age or older may be able to benefit from the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program, or EHEAP. This is a program that is similar to the federal government funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which is referenced below.
EHEAP is specific to Florida, and Peoples Gas customers will need to meet low income guidelines and also have a resident who is at least 60 years of age or older. Emergency funds and cash grants are offered to households who have a member that is 60 years of age or older and who is faced with a home energy crisis, such as a disconnection. Money can be used to pay cooling or air conditioning bills during the summer or heating bills during the winter.
The other option, which is open to Peoples Gas customers of any age (provided they meet qualifications), is the federal government created and funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. This program focuses on customers who pay a high percentage of their total income towards their natural gas bills, and who also meet certain income standards.
Cash assistance and grants can be paid out and used to pay regular, recurring monthly utility bills. Or, if a Peoples Gas customer is faced with a shut off of their natural gas service, a crisis component of LIHEAP can help low income households in Florida meet and pay for their home energy bills. This program will also usually come with an energy conservation component, which is known as weatherization.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program, or EFSP, was created by the United States government, and specifically Congress, to help meet the housing needs of low income, hungry, and working poor. A focus is on preventing homelessness throughout the country, including in Florida. The program allocates federal government funds for the provision of food, shelter, and housing expenses.
So, when a Peoples Gas customer is faced with imminent disconnection, or if they have had their energy service shut off, the government will consider losing your utilities as a form of homelessness. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program may be able to help in this case, and money will be paid out to ensure you are able to keep your utilities on.
Community action agencies, churches, Salvation Army centers, and other charity type organizations operate in most town and counties in Florida. Individuals can reach out to these trained and supportive professionals and volunteers who can provide information on financial assistance, weatherization and energy conservation programs. The non-profits are great places for information about public and private health and human services.
Peoples Gas Budget Billing is offered for residential customers of all income levels and situations. The Budget Billing program will basically take the lows and highs out of your monthly natural gas bills, and it level sets the amount you need to pay every month. The Florida energy company will take the last 12 monthly billing periods and average them together. Customers will then be billed the average of this month’s so they are charged the same amount for their natural gas service each and every month.
The gas bill will be trued up once per year. The difference between the actual amount of natural gas used and the billed amount is called the deferred amount. This amount can be a debit or a credit on your account, and this deferred amount will be adjusted accordingly as you continue to make monthly payments.
Call Peoples Gas at 1-877-832-6747 for details on these and other assistance programs.