I Need Help Paying My Electric Bill
I need help paying my electric bill. Follow along with APG&E to learn everything you need to know when you need assistance with your energy bill. Food, water, and shelter are the three necessities of life. But, in our modern age, electricity can be essential to survival as well. If you find yourself unable to pay your utility bill, it can feel like you have nowhere to turn. Fortunately, help is available; many organizations and programs exist to provide bill pay assistance.
There are many utility assistance programs available nationwide. They range from government programs, to community action agencies, to religious organizations all working to help people in need of assistance. The United States government provides a program called LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) that exists to help families with energy costs. Many other organizations provide assistance as well; a list of some of the more trusted organizations is below:
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/liheap/about
- Salvation Army: https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/usc/utility_assistance/
- US Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/liheap/about
- USA.gov: https://www.usa.gov/help-with-bills
- Catholic Charities of America: https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/find-help/
- Net Wish: http://netwish.org/
Texas has a program to help low income households determine why their utility bills are high and provides assistance with lowering costs. It is called the Weatherization Assistance Program.
In addition to the state sponsored program, many counties offer assistance with energy bills, and other common household expenses. The counties listed below are the three largest in Texas, and their programs are detailed in the links. If your county is not listed, you can search online for “[COUNTY] help paying utility bill” simply replace the word [COUNTY] with the name of your county. Additionally you can contact your local utility to see what programs they have available.
- Harris County: http://hchatexas.org/wp-content/uploads/Emergency-Assistance-List-04-30-14.pdf
- Dallas County: https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/comprehensive-energy-assistance-program.php
- Tarrant County: http://tarrant.tx.networkofcare.org/aging/services/subcategory.aspx?tax=BV-8900.9300-180
Ohio residents have two programs available to assist them in paying electricity and heating bills.
The first program is called HEAP, and is a federally funded program administered by the state of Ohio to help low-income residents pay for heating.
In addition to HEAP, Ohio has a Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus program (PIPP Plus for short). This program allows customers to make small payments to their utility in order to keep their utilities on, and rewards on-time payment with forgiveness of prior debts.
Learn more about Ohio's Energy Assistance Programs.
I need help paying my electricity bill is a question you should not stress out about. Find ways to pay your bills with assistance programs.
The state of Pennsylvania offers several programs to help customers pay their bills. They have a Customer Assistance Program to provide low monthly bills and debt forgiveness in exchange for regular payment. They also offer programs to assist with reducing your usage and becoming more energy efficient in order to avoid future high electric and utility bills.
For More information visit PA Power Switch and read their guide on how to apply for these programs.
Options with Your Supplier
This program is sometimes called level billing. Using your last 12 months of utility bills and average monthly cost is produced. You will be charged this average bill every month to help avoid price spikes in high usage months. In Texas your Retail Marketer may offer this option to you directly while in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey Budget Billing is offered by the utility.
Deferred Payment Plan
In Texas, your electric company may be able to offer you a payment plan to help you spread out the cost of a utility bill that you cannot pay. This can help in situations where you received one unexpectedly high bill and need time to pay it down. You will need to ask you supplier for this option, and there are few requirements to qualify.
It may sound counterintuitive, but prepaid electricity programs can help families budget better, and prevent you from using more power than you can afford to pay for. Often times these programs are offered to customers with credit challenges, and they can provide a great option for getting back on track.
Other options when you need help paying electric bill
There are many other programs that can provide financial assistance than the ones we listed in this article. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services provides an assistance search engine. Visit https://www.211texas.org/ and search for what you need help with, "Electric Bill Assistance" or "Utility Bill Help" would be a good starting point. Check out the top electricity provider in Texas.
For more great information about your electricity bill, check out our guide. Your Electricity Bill - 6 Questions You Should Ask?
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