DAYTON — As the end of the winter heating season approaches, Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, a CenterPoint Energy company, has announced that customers who have received a disconnect notice or all customers in need of bill payment assistance can contact Vectren online at Vectren.com or call 800-227-1376 to make payment arrangements and avoid potential disconnection.
“Due to the bitter cold temperatures we experienced at the beginning of this year, some customers may find themselves behind on their bill payments,” said Richard Leger, vice president of natural gas distribution in Indiana and Ohio. “As part of our commitment to our customers, we have programs and payment options to help them manage costs.”
Customers can choose from the following free Vectren billing and payment options, as well as energy efficiency programs:
• Payment arrangement: Customers having difficulty paying bills in full can request a payment arrangement to fulfill the obligation in smaller increments over a set period of time. Eligible customers can request a payment arrangement by calling 800-227-1376.
• Special winter plans: Through April 15, Vectren offers a plan that allows residential customers to pay one-third of the total balance (past due amount plus the current bill) each month. Additionally, and available one time during the winter heating season, a $175 payment plus an application for energy assistance programs and/or a payment arrangement with Vectren, will maintain or reconnect service. If applicable, the appropriate reconnection fee will be billed. Customers who pay $175 to maintain or reconnect service must pay the appropriate amounts owed to maintain service thereafter.
• Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): State and federal utility assistance dollars are available for income-eligible customers. Customers at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines ($43,925 for a family of four), should visit their local community action agency to sign up for HEAP or contact the Ohio Development Services Agency at 800-282-0880 for more information.
• Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (E-HEAP): E-HEAP provides assistance once per heating season to eligible households that are disconnected or are threatened with disconnection. Customers at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines should visit their local community action agency to sign up for E-HEAP or contact the Ohio Development Services Agency at 800-282-0880 for more information.
• Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus): PIPP Plus calls for a qualified household to pay the greater of $10 per month or 6 percent of monthly income for gas service throughout the year. To be eligible for the PIPP Plus program, a customer must receive its heat from a company regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), must have a total household income which is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level ($37,650 for a family of four) and must apply for all eligible energy assistance programs. Contact the Ohio Development Services Agency at 800-282-0880 for more information.
• Energy efficiency resources: Vectren has a wide offering of energy efficiency programs for customers, which can be found at www.vectren.com/saveenergy. Customers are also encouraged to apply for all home weatherization programs, including programs available through community action agencies.