For Immediate Release
Customers receive letters and notices that their utility service could be shut off for payment issues
PHILADELPHIA (February 20, 2017) – PECO is sending letters to more than 50,000 residential customers who are delinquent on their accounts and believed to be eligible for grants from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The mailing includes an overview of LIHEAP, a notice that their service could be shut off for non-payment, and contact information to apply for the grants.
Customers are leaving money on the table that could help keep their electric and natural gas service on. PECO does not want to have to shut off service because customers have fallen behind on their bill because they did not submit an application for funding.
“We are concerned that some customers are not taking advantage of the money that will help keep their light and heat on,” said Patricia King, PECO’s manager of Universal Services, the group that oversees the company’s low-income programs. “This is important grant money that customers do not have to pay back. LIHEAP grants are first come, first served so it is essential that customers submit their application now before money runs out.”
Less than $51 million remains in LIHEAP funding for Pennsylvania’s low-income residents. LIHEAP provides cash grants, up to $1,000 per customer, through a direct payment made on behalf of a customer to PECO. Customers do not have to be behind on their bills in order to receive a cash grant. LIHEAP also has money allocated for emergencies, including payments up to $500 to reinstate services that have been shut off for non-payment, and for repairing leaking pipes and broken furnaces.
LIHEAP is a federal program that provides assistance to individuals who are having trouble paying their electric, natural gas or other heating bills. Homeowners, renters, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible.
Grants are based on household size and income, type of fuel used and county of residence. A family of four with an annual household income of $36,450 can qualify for help. To be eligible, annual household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, or:
For larger households, the guidelines increase by $6,240 for each additional person.
PECO’s letter campaign is intended to ensure that all eligible households take advantage of the assistance funds available through the state. PECO employees also are canvassing the region to appear at community events to share information about PECO’s assistance programs.
Customers can call 1-800-34-HELP4 or visit peco.com/help, for more information, questions or help in filling out the application.
PECO customers who are not eligible for low- and fixed-income assistance, but are having trouble managing their energy costs should also consider taking advantage of other programs including budget billing. Budget billing makes short-term fluctuations in monthly bills much easier to handle by dividing annual energy costs evenly throughout the year.
All customers can save money on their monthly energy bills by using energy as efficiently as possible. To find low- and no-cost ways to save energy and money, visit peco.com/smartideas.
PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 516,000 natural gas customers in southeastern, Pennsylvania. The company’s 2,500 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $4.3 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting more than 8,700 local jobs and producing $732 million in labor income. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's only Fortune 100 utility and leading competitive energy provider. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
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