Duke Energy Indiana customers in need of assistance can receive a lot more help with the high cost of energy bills during the winter.
The company announced Tuesday they would distribute $700,000 annually over the next five years for low-income energy assistance as part of Duke Energy’s Edwardsport plant regulatory settlement.
Customers and employees of Duke Energy have contributed an additional $100,000, raising this year’s total to $800,000.
After their local Energy Assistance Program determines they are eligible, customers who need help paying their electricity bills can receive up to $300 toward their bill. Previously, customers were only eligible for up to $100.
“There’s always a demand for energy assistance, but it’s especially needed as our economy recovers,” said Doug Esamann, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “Over the past decade, our Helping Hand program has provided more than $4 million in assistance to customers in need. This year’s funding triples the amount each customer can receive.”
Over the next five years, the company is expanding the program to include any Duke Energy Indiana customers who qualify. Previously, only low-income customers at least 60 years old or disabled were eligible.
If funds are still available by summer, they can also be used for summer cooling bills.
Duke Energy Indiana offers additional programs that can help customers with their bills:
- Budget Billing –This program enables customers to avoid bill spikes by providing predictable monthly payments.
- Adjusted Due Date – Customers may be able to adjust the due date of their utility bill to a monthly date that meets the timing of their income. This is a popular program with seniors on Social Security.
- Indiana Home Weatherization – Income-qualified Duke Energy Indiana customers can receive free home weatherization measures through Energizing Indiana, a united effort of the state’s major utilities, including Duke Energy. Professional energy advisors will install multiple energy saving measures during their home visits. For a free home evaluation, contact Energizing Indiana at 1-888-446-7750.
- Extended Payment Agreement – Duke Energy can help a customer by establishing an extended payment agreement if the customer qualifies. Customers must first contact the company to see if they are eligible for this free service.
- Life Support Program – Duke Energy Indiana offers a Life Support Program for customers who use electrically powered life support equipment.
- Third-Party Notification – This program sends a copy of a monthly bill to a friend or relative without holding them responsible for the payment. Paperless Billing accounts are not eligible.
For more information about Duke Energy’s programs in Indiana, log on to their website.