Preparing for power shutoffs: What to do if you can’t pay your bill

Preparing for power shutoffs: What to do if you can’t pay your bill
Preparing for power shutoffs: what to do if you can’t pay your bill

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - FirstEnergy is encouraging people to take steps ahead of disconnection. Right now, disconnections are temporarily suspended until the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approves a plan to return to pre-COVID operations.

Preparing for power shutoffs: What to do if you can’t pay your bill

Customers of FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities, Ohio Edison (OE), The Illuminating Company (CEI) and Toledo Edison (TE), may be eligible for one or more of the following programs:

  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan: This program allows customers to pay a percentage of their income instead of their actual bill amount. To apply, contact Ohio Development Service Agency at 800-282-0880 or visit the Ohio Development Service Agency’s Website.
  • Ohio Fuel Fund: Provides grants of up to $300 to assist qualified customers with electric bills. This program is only available to CEI customers. To schedule an appointment call 216-350-8008.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program: Provides cash grants for home heating and cooling emergencies to qualified customers. Summer crisis assistance is available through September 30. To apply, contact the Ohio Development Service Agency at 800-282-0880 or visit the Ohio Development Service Agency’s Website.
  • Emergency Hardship Funds: Helps customers who have experienced a financial hardship either to pay an overdue bill or to reconnect service. To apply: CEI customers can call 216-861-8185; TE customers can call 419-241-3549; and OE customers can visit the REACH Agencies list.
  • 211: This nationwide resource and information helpline identifies locally available programs that may assist customers with utility bills or other needs. For more information dial 211, visit www.211oh.org or text your ZIP code to 898211.

A previous version of this story said disconnections were set to resume today. While FirstEnergy’s plan was to begin service shutoffs September 15, that plan still requires approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

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