Some Hoosiers may be eligible for energy assistance through the Low-Income
Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP), managed by the local energy assistance
program (EAP) in their area. To find the contact for your local EAP and learn about how to qualify, go to
Call toll-free 800-382-9895 – TTY: 800-382-9842.
Sign-up for assistance began in early October. Persons who qualify for
assistance are protected from a utility disconnection during the period of
December 1, 2018, through March 15, 2019, if they provide the gas or
electric utility proof of application for assistance. If someone does not qualify for assistance, there are other ways to manage bill payments.
Anyone with bill payment concerns should contact their
local utility. It is often difficult to tell others when you are having bill
payment problems, but waiting and letting the unpaid balance increase only
makes a solution more difficult. Contacting the utility early allows time to work on a sensible payment
agreement and helps to avoid disconnection and the expense of restoring
utility service. Additionally, the utility may have information about
assistance that is available from other sources including government
agencies, churches and local charities.
Some of the Duke Energy programs available to help customers manage their
bills include: Helping Hand Program – Duke Energy maintains a customer assistance program
composed of contributions from our shareholders, customers and employees. Duke Energy Indiana partners with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Energy
Assistance Program, which distributes the company’s assistance funds.
Budget Billing enables a customer to avoid bill spikes by
paying their bill in regular monthly installments with a true-up at the end
of the billing period. Adjusted Due Date – Customers may be able to adjust the due date of their
utility bills to a monthly date that coincides with the timing of their
income. This is a popular program with seniors on Social Security.
Third-Party Notification – Customers can have copies of their monthly bills
sent to a friend or relative in addition to the copies they receive. This
allows that contact to write the check or remind the customer to make their
utility payment but it does not hold the third party responsible for the
211 Can Help
Many Hoosiers have needs that extend beyond payment of their utility bills.
Most counties in Indiana have a 2-1-1 service aimed at linking Hoosiers with
the various services they might need. In most areas a resident can call
211 from a local residential phone, tell the agency about their issue, and
211 will direct them to other local sources of help.