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Duke (formerly Progress Energy) assistance programs.

Progress Energy, now known as Duke Energy,  provides qualified low income customers with several financial assistance programs, payment plans, and discounts. The utility company tries to work with customers if they are struggling to pay their energy bills. They will do their best to find a solution that works for everyone involved, and they do what they can to limit the number of shut offs that occur. The Duke (Progress Energy) programs are for low income families across Florida, North and South Carolina, and other regions in which the utility company operates.

Individuals who live on a fixed income may be able to receive assistance from the Bill Extender program. It was created to help those customers who receive disability benefits, Social Security, or whose income is from a pension or retirement savings. If you receive only one monthly paycheck or income check, then the Progress Energy Bill Extender plan may be the solution for you and it can help with paying electric bills.

After successful enrollment in the program, the due date of your Duke (formerly Progress Energy) utility bill will be extended for up to 9 days from the normal billing due date. This provides more time for individuals who receive that one monthly check. You need to pay your bills on time in order to remain enrolled in the program. Credit restrictions also apply and need to be met in order to enroll. Dial 800.700.8744.

Apply for cash assistance and grants from the Energy Neighbor Fund. This program provides direct financial assistance and payment plans to low income Duke (Progress Energy) customers and others who are experiencing a crisis or emergency situation. Aid is targeted to people who are faced with a short term financial difficulty.

Examples of a crisis include an unexpected job loss, a medical emergency or sudden illness, or some other type of qualified personal crisis or emergency. The grants and funds are distributed to the needy from social service agencies and charities who distribute the funds collected to people who need help.

This Duke (Progress Energy) program is funded by donations and contributions. Money for the Energy Neighbor Fund can come from Duke (aka Progress Energy’s) customers across the Carolinas and Florida, employees, and the company’s charitable foundation.




If you have a serious medical condition or need power for health equipment, the Duke - Progress Energy Medically Essential Program may be an option to look into. Customers who need electricity and who are dependent on continuously electric-powered medical equipment may qualify for immediate financial assistance for paying bills and ensuring their power is kept on. However there are no guarantees from this program and it does not guarantee uninterrupted electric service. The medical program does not provide priority restoration and it does not automatically extend electric bill due dates. What it does do is the following.

  • It will provide customers with advanced notification of interruption of service due dates due to non-payment of their electric bill and pre-planned outages.
  • People who sign up can also receive advanced warning of major storms or hurricanes with emphasis on making proper arrangements.

In order to qualify for the Medically Essential Program, customers need to be dependent on some type of medical equipment that needs continuous power in order for the customer to avoid immediate hospitalization or the loss of life. Dial 1-800-700-8744 to apply or get more information.

Duke Corporation (Progress Energy) and the states of Florida and South and North Carolina offer qualified customers with Disconnect Moratoriums. This will prevent residential customers from having their electric service disconnected at any time between November 1 and March 31. There are several conditions that need to be met as noted below.

A payment plan will be offered, and if the customer is not able to pay the balance on their bill in full or over a six month period of time then this program can protect them.

The applicant can be certified by the local county government or social service office which administers the Low Income Energy Crisis Assistance Program or other similar emergency programs as eligible to receive grants, financial assistance or a moratorium even if funds are not available.

A member of the customer’s family need to be handicapped, disabled, or considered elderly, which is 65 years of age or older. The handicapped member of household must be certified by a state or federal governmental agency or social services as disabled.





If a member of the household’s health is in danger due to termination of their electric service, this may qualify someone for the Disconnect Moratorium.

How to apply for help

There are also the state government benefits available to Duke Corporation (Progress Energy) customers. While the name may change in each state, the key ones are LIHEAP, which will provide a grant for utility bills. In addition to that, free conservation measures can be provided by weatherization. These two programs are usually run by local community action agencies, so call them, or Duke - Progress Energy can be reached at 1-800-452-2777, 1-800-777-9898 or 800.700.8744.


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By Jon McNamara













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