Winter heating bills may be a financial challenge for many customers.
AES Indiana and Citizens Energy Group are teaming up for “Utilities Unite for Customers” to raise awareness of available resources.
Laura O’Brien with Citizens said one of the most important first steps that a customer can take is to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
“That program will provide a one-time financial benefit to help customers either get reconnected or to stay connected. And it's important to apply for EAP if you're in need, because being approved can also trigger additional assistance,” O’Brien said.
Kelly Young with AES Indiana said both utilities have several assistance programs available.
“There are funds that are available, there are opportunities to apply. And we encourage people to apply for those. But if they don't know about them, they don't apply for them. And we don't want people to be afraid of or concerned that they won't apply. We just need them to apply,” Young said.
To apply, Indiana residents should visit www.EAP.ihcda.in.gov or call 1-800-872-0371 to locate their nearest community action agency.
Customers who are denied and/or are ineligible for EAP can apply for the United Way of Central Indiana’s Winter Assistance Fund by visiting www.uwci.org/waf.
Additional assistance programs
Whether approved or denied for EAP, customers can apply for AES Indiana’s Power of Change. The emergency relief fund provides one-time assistance for income-qualified customers who have an outstanding balance of at least $50 and have received a disconnection notice.
Customers who meet income requirements can receive free in-home energy assessments and home upgrades that can help decrease your energy bills and increase your comfort.
AES Indiana also offers flexible payment options, such as budget billing, payment extensions and preferred bill date.
Citizens customers who qualify for EAP automatically receive a discount on their gas bill ranging from 10-25 percent through the Citizens Universal Service Program. EAP-eligible customers can also qualify for the utility’s Low Income Customer Assistance Program that helps lower wastewater bills.
Citizens’ Warm Heart Warm Home Foundation provides financial assistance to customers having difficulty paying their utility bills. When combined with other forms of assistance, the grants can help customers sustain their utility services and catch up on past-due bills.
More information is available at www.citizensenergygroup.com/Help or call Citizens at (317) 924-3311.