Individuals that are on a fixed income or that are behind on utility payments can contact their utility company to arrange a payment plan.
Most utility companies have Energy Assistance Programs (EAP's) that low-income individuals with a temporary financial crisis may be able to access. If the utility company does not offer an EAP one of the programs below may be able to help you with your utility bills. Contact the following programs in this order: LIHEAP I, Dollar Energy Fund, LIHEAP II.
There is also information on Telephone Assistance Programs.
LIHEAP offers two Energy Assistance Programs to home owners and renters. Income guidelines apply to both programs. For more information the these guidelines, eligibility, and how to apply, contact the Pennsylvania LIHEAP statewide inquiries line toll-free at 1-866-857-7095.
LIHEAP I - Energy Assistance Program
- Helps people on low-income or fixed income pay fuel bills
- Operates during the heating season starting in October and is dependent on available federal funds
- Allegheny County Energy Assistance-Fuel office can be reached at (412) 562-0330
- You can apply online through the COMPASS website
LIHEAP II - Crisis Prevention
- Financial assistance for weather-related heating emergencies (e.g., repairs for broken heating equipment, broken windows, fuel lines, and/or payment of utility service when threat of service termination) and is dependent on available federal funds
- Must apply to LIHEAP I and the Dollar Energy Fund BEFORE applying to LIHEAP II
- Begins in November and runs through March
- Allegheny County DHS Office of Community Service 24-hour hotline can be reached at 1-800-851-3838
- You must apply in person Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 2 PM, or until capacity is reached
One Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The Dollar Energy Fund offers a "fund of last resort" for low-income households that have already applied for LIHEAP I. This means that consumers must have exhausted all other forms of utility assistance, especially through contacting their utility company, before applying for this grant. Income guidelines apply.
Telephone Assistance Programs
Verizon Link-up America
Verizon Pennsylvania's Link-up America provides low-income households with a discount on your phone line connection charge. For more information, or to see if you are eligible, contact Verizon at 1-800-VERIZON (837-4966).
Lifeline is a federal program that offers qualified low-income households a discount on their monthly local telephone bill. Each state has its own guidelines to qualify. The application process differs by state and sometimes by individual phone companies.
For more information on how to apply, refer to the Universal Service Administrative Company's (USAC) website, call USAC's toll-free number at 1-888-641-8722, or contact the FCC's toll-free customer service number at 1-888-CALL-FCC (2255-322). You may also contact your local telephone companies to see if they participate in this program.
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