Eligible PPL Electric Utilities customers can benefit from a grant program to help with their heating bills if cold weather puts a chill on their ability to pay.
Eligible PPL Electric Utilities customers can benefit from a grant program to help with their heating bills if cold weather puts a chill on their ability to pay. Pennsylvania is accepting applications for the federally funded LIHEAP program, and the utility wants those who qualify to get their applications in early. LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is administered through county assistance offices. “Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP funds are limited, and when they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Tim Dahl, manager of Regulatory Programs in the utility’s Customer Services division. “That’s why we always urge our customers to apply early.” For the 2012-13 heating season, about 25,000 eligible PPL Electric Utilities customers received approximately $7.4 million in LIHEAP grants. The program has assisted about 508,000 customers with $150 million since 1986. LIHEAP grants don’t have to be repaid. Potential recipients don’t have to have an unpaid heating bill, and they can either own or rent their home. And though the program is run through county assistance agencies, those who get grants don’t need to be a public assistance recipient. “We know the need is there,” Dahl said. “An estimated 25 percent of our nearly 1.4 million customers are classified as low-income, meaning they’re at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.” LIHEAP cash grants help families pay their heating bills. The grant is sent to the customer’s utility company or fuel provider and is shown as a credit on their bill. In some cases, the grant goes directly to the customer. Grants also are available for heating emergencies such as an equipment breakdown. PPL Electric Utilities will once again be reaching out through phone calls, emails and letters to potential LIHEAP recipients to encourage their participation. The program also will be promoted on the company’s social media accounts, including Twitter and Facebook. “We want customers to know help is out there,” Dahl said. There are a variety of ways to apply. Customers can register online at www.compass.state.pa.us or get an application at their local county assistance office. Application links also are available at www.pplelectric.com/liheap. In addition, customers can request an application by calling the statewide LIHEAP Hotline at 1-866-857-7095 or TDD for the hearing impaired at 1-800-451-5886. Income guidelines for 2013-14 start at $17,235 for one person and increase $6,030 for each additional person in the household. PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.