The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) joined with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to mark the start of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the 2022-23 winter heating season. This year’s LIHEAP season opens Nov. 1, 2022.
The PUC also encouraged consumers to #CallUtilitiesNow to explore a wide variety of utility assistance programs and other affordability options to help manage energy use and keep utility bills affordable during the coming winter.
“Working together, LIHEAP and various PUC-required utility assistance programs help hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania households stay connected, safe and warm,” said PUC Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “We strongly encourage families to apply for LIHEAP and #CallUtilitiesNow to explore all the available options.”
Utilities understand the assistance programs available in their communities for income-qualified consumers – including utility-run Customer Assistance Programs, national programs like LIHEAP, and various hardship fund programs operated by utilities and non-profit organizations.
The PUC encourages consumers to contact their utilities for more information about various utility-operated Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) that may be available, in addition to LIHEAP assistance. According to the PUC’s latest data, utilities across Pennsylvania spent approximately $459 million on universal service programs, not counting LIHEAP.
“Customer Assistance Programs have a significant impact across Pennsylvania,” said PUC Commissioner Kathryn Zerfuss. “Collectively, these utility programs reach over 317,000 electric customers and approximately 181,000 natural gas customers, reducing monthly energy bills; promoting weatherization; reducing energy consumption; and keeping people connected and safe.”
Utilities can help enroll consumers in assistance programs, guide them to other available resources and discuss new payment plan options to address overdue balances and help consumers move forward.