More than $185 million is now available, in Pennsylvania, to help PECO customers keep warm this winter. Through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), PECO customers can receive up to $1,500 in grant support, however customers must apply early to get their grant, before funds run out. LIHEAP is a federal program that provides assistance to individuals who are having trouble paying their electric, natural gas or other heating bills. Homeowners, renters, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible. Last year, PECO helped its customers receive more than $17.4 million in LIHEAP grant assistance. "We want to help every PECO customer get the money they deserve to ensure they stay safe and warm this winter," said Patricia King, PECO's manager of Universal Services. "It is essential that our customers file their applications early, to ensure they can secure their grant while money is still available." PECO is reaching out to customers through community forums, proactive calls, direct mail and advertising to ensure eligible customers know help is available. LIHEAP provides cash grants, up to $1,000 per customer, through a direct payment to a vendor, such as a utility like PECO. Customers do not have to be behind on their bills in order to receive a cash grant. LIHEAP also has money allocated for emergencies including payments up to $500 to reinstate service that has been shut off for non-payment, and for repairing leaking pipes and broken furnaces. Grants are based on household size and income, type of fuel used and county of residence. A family of four with an annual household income of $36,450 can qualify for help. To be eligible, annual household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, or:
- $17,820 One-person household
- $24,030 Two-person household
- $30,240 Three-person household
- $36,450 Four-person household
Customers can call 1-800-34 HELP4 or visit www.peco.com/help, for more information, questions, or help in filling out the application.PECO manages the largest and most comprehensive Universal Services program in Pennsylvania. In addition to LIHEAP, PECO has many other programs to help customers manage their energy costs and save money. Other assistance programs include:
- The Customer Assistance Program (CAP): A credit based on household income and energy use.
- The Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAF): A program funded by voluntary contributions of citizens and matched dollar for dollar by PECO for up to $1,000 in total assistance for those who qualify.
- Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP): A program that provides year-round conservation and weatherization assistance for qualified households.
- Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES): A referral and information service designed to assist customers who have temporary personal or financial hardships that prevent the payment of their utility bill.