With winter coming to a close, NIPSCO wants to remind customers that bill payment assistance programs are still available after the state’s winter moratorium ends March 15.
Under the state’s moratorium Indiana utilities—including NIPSCO—do not disconnect service to Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) customers who are behind on their bills during the winter season—December 1 through March 15.
“Working with our customers to get them the assistance they need is our main focus,” said Debora Owen, NIPSCO’s vice president of customer operations. “We offer a number of programs to help those customers who may be experiencing financial challenges or falling behind on their energy bills. If customers find themselves in those difficult situations, we urge them to reach out.”
Some assistance programs offered include:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Program: LIHEAP support is available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. It is fully funded by a federal block grant offered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program: The NIPSCO CARE Discount Program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-eligible customers. Applications are made at the same time as LIHEAP submissions, and reductions range from 11 to 26 percent, depending on the same criteria used by the state in determining the level of assistance.
NIPSCO Hardship Program: For customers just outside the federal poverty guidelines for LIHEAP, the NIPSCO Hardship Program offers up to $400 in gas bill assistance to households between 151 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Hardship funds are available through many of the same local Community Action Agencies where LIHEAP funds are distributed. Applications are accepted through May 31, 2015.
Township Trustees: A limited amount of energy assistance funds are available through local township trustee offices via tax revenues. NIPSCO customers are encouraged to contact their local township trustee to see what help is available.
Payment Arrangements: A NIPSCO payment arrangement allows eligible customers to make an initial payment within four days of the agreement, then spread the remaining unpaid balance over three months, plus current bills as they are due.
For more information on billing options and payment assistance, customers are asked to call NIPSCO at 1-800-4NIPSCO or visit NIPSCO.com/PaymentAssistance.
Additionally, NIPSCO offers customers a range of energy efficiency programs to help save throughout the year, including:
Energy Efficiency Rebate Program: NIPSCO’s Energy Efficiency Rebate Program offers rebates for energy-efficient furnaces, insulation, programmable thermostats and other home efficiency improvements.
Residential Lighting Program: NIPSCO’s Residential Lighting Program makes buying energy-efficient light bulbs even more affordable. From now through November 15, 2015, save on select ENERGY STAR®-certified lighting.
Home Energy Assessment and Weatherization Program: Learn how you can raise your home’s performance, lower energy bills, and improve in-home air quality with a no-cost energy assessment and discounts on energy-saving upgrades.
Income-Qualified Weatherization Program: An energy advisor will come to your home to perform a complete assessment and install multiple energy-saving devices.
For more information on any of these programs and more tips to save, visit NIPSCO.com/SaveEnergy.