AKRON, Ohio – Residential customers of Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp, who have difficulty making ends meet, are encouraged to contact their provider now to enroll in payment plans or to receive referrals for bill assistance programs.
“Many of our customers continue to face financial challenges due to ongoing economic uncertainty,” said Patricia Mullin, acting president of Ohio Operations for FirstEnergy. “With winter in full swing, I encourage customers who have fallen behind on their bills to contact us as soon as possible so that a member of our team can review their options with them.”
Some of the 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 at or below 175% 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 a gross income at or below 175% of federal poverty guidelines. Call the Ohio Department of Development at 1-800-282-0880 or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov for more information.
- 2-1-1 Helpline: This nationwide resource and information helpline help 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 HERE.
- Save the Dream Ohio – Utility Assistance Plus (UAP): This program provides Ohio homeowners facing economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with assistance paying mortgages, utility bills, non-escrowed property taxes, and other qualified housing costs. A household may receive up to $10,000 in utility and/or housing cost assistance. This part of the Save the Dream Ohio program is administered by participating local nonprofit agencies, including the Community Action Agency and the Area Agency on Aging. A list of participating organizations can be found at https://savethedream.ohiohome.org.
- Emergency Rental Assistance: Customers having difficulty paying utilities, rent, or mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for a Home Relief Grant. Visit COHHIO – Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio – HERE to find an agency near you.
- Emergency Hardship Funds: These funds may be available to residential customers who have suffered a financial hardship and need temporary assistance to pay their electric bills. Ohio Edison customers can apply for Project Reach at any participating Salvation Army location. Toledo Edison customers can apply for Neighbors Helping Neighbors by contacting the Toledo Salvation Army at 419-241-3549. Illuminating Company customers can apply for Co-Op funds at Cleveland Salvation Army at 216-861-8185 or the Ohio Fuel Fund by calling CHN Housing Partners or Step Forward at 216-350-8008.
Additionally, the $175 Winter Reconnect Option allows residential customers who are disconnected or at risk of disconnection the opportunity to pay $175 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 approximately 755,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at www.illuminatingcompany.com, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
Toledo Edison serves more than 315,000 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 ten 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 and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
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