FirstEnergy Ohio Utilities Encourage Customers to Arrange Payment Plans and Apply for Bill Assistance Programs
Programs can help alleviate growing balances for customers having financial difficulty
Akron, OH – Residential customers of Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), who are having difficulty making ends meet are encouraged to contact their utility now to enroll in payment plans or to receive referrals for bill assistance programs. Establishing an affordable payment arrangement or obtaining assistance can help keep balances manageable now that shut-offs for nonpayment have resumed.
“The pandemic has increased the financial hardships our customers are facing, particularly as the cold weather approaches,” said Ed Shuttleworth, president of FirstEnergy’s Ohio Operations. “Customers who have lost income during this crisis and who are behind on their utility bills may be eligible for assistance that was unavailable to them before.”
Programs customers may be eligible to participate in include:
• The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP): Allows customers to pay a set percentage of their income toward their electric bill, regardless of the balance. Customers who maintain their payment plans may be eligible for debt forgiveness. Eligible customers should have income below 150% of federal poverty guidelines. To apply, call 1-800-282-0880 or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov.
• Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): Provides eligible customers with cash grants for home heating bills and emergencies. Customers must have gross income below 175% of federal poverty guidelines. Call the Ohio Development Service Agency at 1-800-282-0880 or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov for more information.
• 2-1-1 Helpline: This nationwide resource and information helpline identifies locally available programs that may assist customers with utility bills or other needs. For more information, dial 211, text your ZIP code to 898211 or visit the 211 website.
• Customers who are having difficulty paying utilities, rent or mortgage due to the pandemic may apply for a Home Relief Grant. Visit https://oacaa.org/agency-directory/ for an agency near you.
• Additionally, the $175 Winter Reconnect Option allows residential customers who are disconnected or at risk of disconnection the opportunity to pay a designated amount to have their service restored or maintained. There is no income eligibility requirement. PIPP customers who use this option may be eligible to have a reset of their past due amount.
For a complete list of assistance programs for which customers may be eligible, including installment payment plans and budget billing, please visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist, or call customer service:
Ohio Edison 1-800-633-4766
The Illuminating Company 1-800-589-3101
Toledo Edison 1-800-447-3333
Ohio Edison serves more than one million customers across 34 Ohio counties. Follow Ohio Edison on Twitter @OhioEdison, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioEdison, and online at www.ohioedison.com.
The Illuminating Company serves 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at www.illuminatingcompany.com, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
Toledo Edison serves more than 300,000 customers in northwest Ohio. Follow Toledo Edison on Twitter @ToledoEdison, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToledoEdison, and online at www.toledoedison.com.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.