If you or someone you know is having trouble paying for housing or utility expenses, there are more options to receive help than ever before. New and existing assistance programs are currently available, all purposely designed to help those affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 or other hardships encountered over the course of 2020 and 2021.
Assistance agencies in your area may be able to help make payments to cover some or all of your past-due utility bill balance. To learn about agencies that serve your area, please visit 211.org online. The free United Way service helps connect customers to local community agencies supplying aid for a wide range of needs, including help with energy bills. These agencies often administer both state and federal funds or know of state agencies that are overseeing state-approved funds.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) This income-based assistance program allows those earning below certain income thresholds to qualify for federal energy bill assistance money. The qualifying income thresholds are based on factors that include household income and the number of people living in your home.
Learn how to qualify and apply for LIHEAP funds.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program funds are available to help eligible customers pay past-due, rent and utility bills dating back to March 13, 2020. There is no limit to the amount of funds you can receive, provided past-due bills have been verified.
Households should apply for emergency rental or utility assistance funds if one or more individuals living in the household:
Homeowner Assistance Fund The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is a new federal program established for homeowners experiencing a financial hardship after January 21, 2020, as a result of COVID-19. The HAF will provide funds to prevent homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures and loss of utility service. Homeowners with an income equal to or less than 150% of the area median (average) income may be eligible. Ohio homeowners can prequalify and apply for these funds by visiting savethedream.ohiohome.org/.
Customers who qualify for LIHEAP or the ERA or HAF programs can receive assistance through their local community action agency.
To locate an agency near you, visit 211.org
Summer Crisis Program (Ohio Customers Only) The Summer Crisis Program provides assistance with electric utility bills, central air conditioning repairs, and air conditioning unit and/or fan purchases. Households with a household member who is either 60 years of age and older, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or has a certified medical condition, and household who have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, or are trying to establish new electric service may be eligible for assistance. The program runs July 1 through September 30.
Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (Ohio Customers Only) The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus is an income-eligible program that allows qualifying customers to pay a percentage of their income toward their energy bills, regardless of monthly usage. This program is intended to make your monthly energy payments more affordable on a year-round basis. If customers pay the monthly PIPP Plus payment on time and in full, some of their old debt and the remainder of that month’s bill may be forgiven.
Customers can find more information by visiting development.ohio.gov/is/is_heapsummer.htm or calling 800.282.0880.
Budget Billing Favored by customers who like to know what to expect each month, Duke Energy’s Budget Billing program allows you to pay one predictable monthly amount to help provide better control over your budget. Your monthly Budget Billing amount is based on the average of your actual bills over the last 12 months and is periodically reviewed and adjusted.
To learn more or sign up online, visit duke-energy/home/billing/budget-billing.
Pick Your Due Date With Duke Energy’s Pick Your Due Date option, you can choose the date you want your energy bill to be due each month. For even more control over your energy bills, combine Pick Your Due Date together with Budget Billing.
Learn more about Pick Your Due Date at duke-energy.com/home/billing/pick-your-due-date.
Installment Plans Installment plans give you more flexibility to pay back a past-due balance over a longer period of time. Helpful options are available for you to request a few extra days or to restructure your entire past-due balance into a monthly payment plan.
To learn more, please call customer service at 800.544.6900.