This sheet provides information from the “Lower Your Energy Bill” event on March 27, 2021 at the Melton Center in West Chester. It provides real ways for everyone to save energy, reducing costs. It also helps you determine if your household is eligible for assistance and provides you with the applicable due dates.
Typical approximate household gross (before tax) incomes that qualify for some kind of assistance are:
- < $25,800 (1 in household)
- < $35,000 (2 in household (not necessary to be immediate family nor even family)
- < $44,000 (3 in household)
- < $53,500 (4 in household)
- < $63,000 (5 in household)
- < $71,200 (6 in household)
- < $80,300 (7 in household)
- and < $90,000 (8 in household)
Example: a program limited to households making under 175% of the FPL ($26,500) for a household of four would mean an upper limit to qualify for that program of $26,500 x 1.75 = $46,375
The programs CAP and LIHEAP are <=150%, MEAF <=175%, CARES and LIURP <=200% of the FPL (abbreviations below).
- March 31, 2021: Last day of the moratoriums against Collections and Disconnections of gas and electric service.
- Who decided this: the Public Utility Commission (PUC)
- What this means: very shortly, if you are overdue on a PECO electric OR gas bill and will remain so next month, expect to receive a letter urging payment or reaching out* immediately! A 20–day grace period will be given before the company will be allowed to discontinue service.
- *STEP ONE: try for assistance (PECO’s forgiveness assistance like the CAP opportunity below and LIHEAP grant),
- STEP TWO: go for flexible payment arrangements (if unqualified for assistance and/or you have a remainder after assistance).
- April 30 (extended) April 9, 2021: Last day to submit LIHEAP grant application (all paper applications (even if somewhat incomplete) that are signed and postmarked by/on 4/30 will be considered)! Of course, complete applications are processed fastest, and those where an applicant, if employed, has enclosed a recent pay stub. The County Assistance Office will work with you for 2 wks to complete your application.
- What will happen: a crush and rush of people trying to reach PECO, get assistance, etc. Don’t delay in getting help if needed!
- May 31, 2021 – Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – this loan is for small business owners struggling due to Covid
- 3 months, but last possible is June 15, 2021 – to request rebate for anyone who bought an Energy STAR appliance (HVAC, air purifier, dehumidifier, room A/C, fridge, washer, heat pump) within past 3 mos, call 1-888-573-2672 for your rebate (or go to peco.com/rebates)
- June 15, 2021 – last possible day to request your gift rebate of $75 for them to pick up for free your old (so inefficient), working refrigerator or freezer. You also can ask them to take away an old, working room A/C unit at the same time as that fridge or freezer and receive $10 more. Schedule this at 1-888-573-2672 (or go to peco.com/recycling)
Rent Assistance for tenants/renters and landlords – called PA Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP): in Chester County, call 211 and select prompt 2. You might qualify for this (federal assistance thru PA Dept of Human Services) for as long as 1 year. However, call soon to express interest, as funds may run dry by September, 2021.
Audit (your home or apartment’s Energy Checkup – FREE if qualified) by PECO or a designated rep (CMC Energy Services): 1-855-270-7327 (Press 1 to schedule, 2 for a representative, 3 para español). At CMC, Sofia and staff reached at (215) 540-5800.
Assistance – general # for PA customers: 1-866-857-7095
Budget Billing, which lets you pay an average amount each month of the year. Call 1-800-494-4000, or visit peco.com/billrelief or /contactus. Customer service dept hrs M-F, 7am-7pm.
Customer Assistance Program (CAP): 1–800-774-7040 or go to peco.com/help and select “CAP” or email PECOCAP@exeloncorp.com or mail to PECO at address on the application. This is a credit directly from PECO made to your PECO residential account, so it reduces the amount you owe! Call to see if you are eligible. Once enrolled in CAP, you pay 1/12th of your overdue amount on time for a year, in addition to your regular monthly bill. You may also be signed up with LIHEAP/LIURP. Flexible payments just let you pay outstanding balance over up to 24 mos w/o penalty.
Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES): call PECO at 1-800-774-7040. This helps low income customers struggling to pay a utility bill as they have a temporary hardship (personal and/or financial) (e.g., family and/or medical emergency, divorce/separation, unemployment).
Energy Conservation/Efficiency (so savings are greater and need for assistance is less). Go to peco.com/waystosave
Homeowner Assistance Fund – this is part of The American Rescue Plan just signed by Pres. Biden on Mar. 4, 2021. Its purpose to to keep owners in their homes. It includes those threatened by loss of utilities. Details being developed.
Jobs – fastest growth is in renewable energy sector (#1 wind turbine service technician, #3 solar photovoltaic installer (HS diploma + some community or tech school but no college deg req’d)) https://www.petersons.com/blog/top-10-fastest-growing-occupations-for-2021/
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): this federal (U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services) Grant provides financial help to eligible homeowners/renters/subsidized-housing tenants for costs Nov. 1 thru April 9. Up to $1000 cash may be paid to a vendor or utility, up to $800 may prevent or reinstate service, and repairs may be made. Our Chester County hotline # for questions is Chester County Assistance Office: 610-466-1111 or 610-466-1151 (Leave a message and Mr. Canan or his aide will get back.) General # for LIHEAP: 1-800-344-3574. For help completing a LIHEAP application; you also may call Jim Wylie of CEF at 484-753-3581. Application in bag may also be completed at peco.com/LIHEAP.
Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP): 1-800-675-0222 LIURP gives qualifying homeowners and renters with high usage a free energy audit and conservation/weatherization, possibly even new heating system, fridge, window A/C. Any household with an individual receiving SSI (supplemental security income) OR that is receiving the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is automatically eligible for weatherization assistance. Look up your ave. usage/mo.
Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAF): for this Grant of <= $500/commodity like electric or natural gas, in Chester County, call: 610-873-1010. This residential hardship fund comes from contributions (call 1-800-597-9514 to donate), which PECO matches.
Melton Center Community Garden (610-692-9290) (local growing: builds resilience and skills, is more nutritious, reduces truck miles travelled/air pollution, supports the pollination that produces many crops)
PA Power Switch/PECO Electric Choice, the Standard Offer (rate locked in for 1 yr at 7% below Price-to-Compare (PTC)): for Qs re. generation, transmission & distribution) and how-to avoid scams, call Henry Alexander (610-692-0923).
West Chester Area Clean Energy Future (CEF), https://wcacog.org/clean-energy-future, or call Jim Wylie (484-753-3581)
Other important phone numbers:
Electric or Gas Emergency: 1-800-841-4141
Additional # for Gas Emergency: 1-844-841-4151
You can sign up for peco.com/alerts