LIHEAP Deadline Extended -- More Time Available To Help PECO Customers Pay Their Energy Bills

To help customers deal with tough economic conditions, the deadline to apply for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended to April 26. With only about $40 million remaining to help Pennsylvania’s low-income utility customers pay their bills, PECO customers must apply now before money runs out.

LIHEAP is a federal grant program that provides assistance to individuals or families struggling to pay their electric, natural gas or other energy bills. Homeowners, renters, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible. The cash program provides up to $1,000 in assistance. The LIHEAP Crisis Program provides up to $400 in additional help for emergencies, including preventing utility service from being shut off and reinstating service that has been shut off.

“LIHEAP funding can help struggling families deal with heating bills in this tough economic period,” said Patricia King, PECO manager of Universal Services, the department that oversees low-income assistance programs for the company. “It’s important people know that help is available, and that they need to take advantage of it now.”

To get more information or apply for LIHEAP, customers should call PECO’s LIHEAP hotline at 1-800-34-HELP-4, visit www.peco.com/LIHEAP, or visit PECO's Main Office Building at 2301 Market Street in Philadelphia.

Grants are based on household size and income, type of fuel used and county of residence – and a family of four with an annual household income of $34,575 can qualify for help. To be eligible, annual household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, or:
  • $16,755 one-person household
  • $22,695 two-person household
  • $28,635 three-person household
  • $34,575 four-person household
  • $40,515 five-person household
  • $46,455 six-person household
  • $52,395 seven-person household
  • $58,335 eight-person household

For larger households, the guidelines increase by $5,940 for each additional person.

Last year, PECO processed more than 80,000 grants providing nearly $15 million in assistance to customers. To ensure its customers are aware of the 2013 funding availability, PECO has been reaching out to customers through community forums, calls to eligible households, direct mail and advertising to ensure eligible customers know help is available and take advantage of these programs.

Service termination for delinquent customers will begin on April 1. Shutting off service is always PECO’s last resort. However, in fairness to customers who do pay their bills, termination is sometimes the only way to ensure payment from those who have the ability to pay but do not. LIHEAP is an important component of customers who truly cannot pay their bills being made able to do so.

The most important action a customer can take to avoid termination is to contact the company immediately when they become aware that they will not be able to make their scheduled payment. The most options are available for customers before an account becomes seriously or chronically past due.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 497,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 76.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 37.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2012. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.

If you are a member of the media and would like to receive PECO news releases via e-mail please send your e-mail address to PECO.Communication@exeloncorp.com

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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