Duke Energy offering additional energy assistance

Duke Energy plans to dedicate an additional $200,000 in financial assistance to its Indiana customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills.

Qualifying customers may receive up to a $300 credit annually. Year to date, Duke Energy has aided nearly 1,700 Hoosiers households with more than $378,000 in energy bill assistance through its Share the Light Fund, according to a news release.

Duke Energy works in partnership with the Indiana Community Action Association to distribute assistance funds. Customers should contact their local community action agency to see if they are eligible. A list of community action agencies by county may be found at incap.org/energy-assistance.

“We know that our customers are facing rising costs for necessities, from groceries and transportation to their electric bill, which has risen due to escalating fuel costs to produce electricity,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “We’ve found that more of our customers could take advantage of the resources available to them, and we want to connect them to help.”

The company also is encouraging customers who may be struggling to apply to the Indiana Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The federally funded program is administered through statewide community action agencies and assists qualifying individuals with their energy bills. The application period opened Oct. 3.

”We expect that with the rising cost of natural gas and heating oil as well as the challenging economy, the number of families in need of energy assistance will increase again this year,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Hoosiers may contact their local service provider to apply for that program. A list of service providers and information can be found at eap.ihcda.in.gov.