Duke Energy is providing $300,000 in energy assistance funds to help qualified Indiana customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic.
The company also is emphasizing eligible residential customers can avoid disconnections for nonpayment if they establish a payment plan, which can now extend up to 12 months.
Duke is working with the Indiana Community Action Association and Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which determines eligibility and distributes the company’s assistance funds.
Recipients of the funds must be Duke Energy customers and meet income eligibility requirements. The company also encourages eligible customers to establish a payment plan, if needed, for any outstanding balances to avoid disconnection.
“While the Indiana Community Action Association network can help in many ways, the Duke Energy Helping Hand Program is a valuable resource during uncertain times as moratoriums on utility disconnections and evictions expire,” said Ed Gerardot, executive director of the Indiana Community Action Association.
Duke suspended service disconnections for nonpayment until Sept. 15 for customers who were experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline gave customers an additional month to make payment arrangements beyond the state’s current disconnection moratorium. Eligible residential customers can avoid disconnection by establishing a payment plan, which now can extend up to 12 months.
If customers are behind on their Duke Energy bills, they should contact the company right away at 800-521-2232 to talk with a customer service representative to establish payment arrangements. Payment plans also can be established at duke-energy.com/home/billing/special-assistance/payment-arrangements.
Federal initiatives such as the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program provide home energy assistance to help eligible low-income households meet their home heating and/or cooling needs. These federal funds received hundreds of millions of dollars as part of the federal stimulus initiative. Indiana’s next funding cycle for the program opens today. To apply for that program, customers should contact their local service provider.
Since mid-March, the Duke Energy Foundation has contributed more than $1.15 million in shareholder funds to Indiana nonprofit groups.