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Additional Utility Bill Assistance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania utility companies have begun to send service termination notices April 1 to customers who are behind on paying their utility bills. low-income customers. Electricity service termination’s in Pennsylvania increased 26 percent last year. It addition to this, natural gas shutoffs increased more than 10 percent. Sadly it is an increasing trend that seems likely to continue this year.

Any customers receiving such service shut off or disconnection notices are urged not to ignore them. What they should do is they need to immediately contact their utility company, some of which offer assistance with paying the electric bills.

For example, Duquesne Light Co, which serves more than 500,000 residential electricity customers in Beaver and Allegheny counties, has a Customer Assistance Program (CAP) that can eliminate late fees and other fees, spokesman Joseph Vallarian said.

Over 30,000 residents are part of that assistance program. However, the company has seen no substantial increase in signups this year which may be a lack of awareness of the program.

Some other programs available to help in Pennsylvania include the Dollar Energy Fund, which is a nonprofit offering utility-bill grants to low-income people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Last, but not least, April 3 is the deadline to sign up for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Over 50,000 additional applications have been logged this year for Crisis Grants from the LIHEAP program. Crisis grants are provided to families facing emergency situations and an immediate shutdown of utility or heating services.

 

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