(UNDATED) – 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 that eligible residential customers can avoid disconnections for nonpayment if they establish a payment plan, which can now extend up to 12 months.
“We know the pandemic continues to be a financial hardship for many,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “These funds, in combination with federal Low-Income Energy Assistance dollars administered by the state, can help hundreds of Hoosiers with energy costs during a challenging time.”
Duke Energy is working with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which determines eligibility and distributes the company’s assistance funds.
Recipients of the Duke Energy 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 Agency 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 Energy Indiana 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 can also be established online. Click here for more information.
Federal initiatives such as the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 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 Sept. 1. To apply for the Energy Assistance Program, customers should contact their local service provider. Click here to find a listing of service providers by county.
Since mid-March, the Duke Energy Foundation has contributed more than $1.15 million in shareholder funds to Indiana nonprofit groups, focusing on hunger relief, small business recovery, education and workforce needs as well as social justice grants.
Duke Energy Indiana
Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.