Programs can help alleviate growing balances for customers having financial difficulty
Residential and business customers of Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), who are having difficulty making ends meet are encouraged to contact their utility now to enroll in payment plans or to receive referrals for bill assistance programs.
While shut-offs for nonpayment are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, establishing an affordable payment arrangement or obtaining assistance can help keep balances manageable during this difficult time.
“We understand many customers are in a difficult financial situation because of the pandemic,” said James V. Fakult, president of JCP&L. “Customers who have lost income during this crisis may be eligible for assistance that was unavailable to them before.”
JCP&L customer service representatives are available at 800-662-3115 to assist residential customers with manageable payment arrangements and can provide customers with information on needs-based assistance programs. These programs may include forgiveness of all or part of a customer’s overdue balance, helping them to avoid a large bill that would otherwise be due when the temporary suspension on shutoffs ends. Customers of JCP&L may be eligible for one or more of the following programs:
• Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP/HEAP): The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can protect customers from shut off for non-payment or help with heating bills. LIHEAP grant applications will only be accepted through June 30, 2021, when the blanket moratorium on utility shut off ends. Apply today by calling the LIHEAP hotline at 800-510-3102 or visit the the DCAid screening tool to see if you meet the income limits for LIHEAP.
• Universal Service Fund Programs (USF): USF helps make energy bills more affordable by offering eligible customers a monthly bill credit. This credit is based on household income and energy burden. USF may also offer utility account debt forgiveness for first-time applicants. USF is a statewide program administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services. To apply call 2-1-1 or visit the DCAid screening tool.
• Lifeline: Lifeline provides funding for utility bills (electric and natural gas) for qualifying disabled persons and senior citizens. Applications must be made annually to receive the benefit. The Lifeline benefit applies only to the customer’s primary residence and must be in the customer’s or the customer’s spouse’s name. To apply call 800-792-9745 or visit the Lifeline website.
• Payment Assistance for Gas & Electric (PAGE): PAGE helps low- to moderate-income customers in New Jersey who are struggling to pay their electric and natural gas bills. The NJ PAGE program provides grants to those over the income limits for LIHEAP as well as those who already applied for LIHEAP but require additional assistance. To apply call 732-982-8710 or visit the NJPowerOn website.
• Comfort Partners Programs: The Comfort Partners Program is a free energy savings and education program for income eligible customers. The program helps customers save energy and money by reducing their electric bills by installing energy conservation measures in the home and by educating family members on their energy and conservation choices. Participation is prioritized based on the customer’s energy webpage consumption. There are household income requirements and other program qualifications. To apply call 800-915-8309 or visit the Comfort Partners webpage.
•2-1-1 Helpline: This nationwide resource and information helpline identifies locally available programs that may assist customers with utility bills or other needs. For more information dial 2-1-1, text your ZIP code to 898211 or visit the211 website.
Additional program information is available at JCP-L.com/assistance.
JCP&L also has established a customer service team dedicated to assisting business and commercial customers. This team can provide helpful information on available assistance programs and offer payment arrangements if needed. To explore these programs, please contact your utility company and ask to speak with a member of the Small Business Team. JCP&L’s customer service number is 800-962-0383.