December 17, 2014
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Utility Assistance

Help with Your Heating Needs Brochure (Spanish version)
Referral Resource guide to resources available to assist you with energy bills for both Lehigh and Northampton County residents.

Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) 
1337 E. 5th St., Bethlehem, PA 18015
610-691-5620
Emergency heating system repair or replacement.  Eligibility: 60% of PA Median Income (e.g., family of four $44, 443).        
Application for PPL On Track program (see PPL Electric Utilities Corp.)
Application for PPL Operation HELP program (see PPL Electric Utilities Corp.)
Application for PPL WRAP Program: (see PPL Electric Utilities Corp.)
Application for UGI Low Income Usage Reduction Program (see UGI Utilities Inc.)
Also free income tax filing for lower income adults/families during tax season. 

Department of Community and Economic Development--Weatherization Program
Contact: Stay Warm Helpline
1-866-540-4355
Provides assistance to low-income individuals and families to reduce their energy costs while safeguarding their health and safety.  Priority given to those low-income residents at higher risk, including older adults, individuals with disabilities and families with children.

Lifeline
Assistance for getting or keeping telephone service.   Provides a monthly credit of up to $12 to the basic service telephone bill.   Lifeline services are limited to one telephone line and no extra features (call waiting, answer call, caller ID, etc.).  Customers who participate in Lifeline are also eligible for Link-Up America or Universal Telephone Assistance Program (UTAP).  Lifeline is not available through all telephone companies.   Presently available through Verizon 1-800-479-1919  or 1-800-483-5000. For a listing of local telephone companies in the area contact the PA Public Utility Commission at 1(888) 782-3228.  To learn more about Lifeline contact the local telephone company or the PA Office of Consumer Advocate at 1-800-684-6560.  Customers must meet income eligibility limit or be a Public Assistance or SSI* benefits recipient.

Lifeline 150
Assistance for getting or keeping telephone service.   Provides a monthly credit to the basic service telephone bill.   Lifeline 150 services are limited to one telephone line and one extra feature at cost of feature (call waiting, answer call, caller ID, etc.).  Customers who participate in Lifeline 150 are also eligible for Link-Up America or Universal Telephone Assistance Program (UTAP).  Lifeline 150 is not available through all telephone companies. For a listing of local telephone companies in the area contact the PA Public Utility Commission at 1-888-782-3228.  To learn more about Lifeline 150 contact the local telephone company or the PA Office of Consumer Advocate at 1-800-684-6560.  Customers must meet income eligibility limit or be a Public Assistance or SSI* benefits recipient.

Link-Up America
Assistance for new telephone service or transferring telephone services.   Provides a 50% discount on hook-up/line connection charges and allows customers to spread the payment of charges over 12 months.  Customers who are eligible for Link-Up America may also be eligible for Lifeline or Lifeline 150 .  Link-Up America is not available through all telephone companies. For a listing of local telephone companies in the area contact the PA Public Utility Commission at 1-888-782-3228.   To learn more about Link-Up America contact the local telephone company or the PA Office of Consumer Advocate at 1-800-684-6560.  Customers must meet income eligibility limit or be a Public Assistance or SSI* benefits recipient.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 
610-821-6702 or 1-866-857-7095
LIHEAP offers both cash and crisis grants, and is open for application starting November through March.  Cash grants help families pay their heating bills.  Crisis grants help families who have an emergency and are in danger of being without heat.  Emergency situations include: Having broken heating equipment (e.g., furnace) or leaking lines; A fuel shortage that may leave you without heat; Having utility service shut off or shut off notice.  Eligibility: Meet the federal poverty income guidelines (e.g., family of four $44,443).  Apply online or call 1-866-857-7095.  TDD for hearing impaired: 1-800-451-5886.  Applications are available at local county assistance offices: Lehigh County: 610-821-6702.  Northampton County: 610-250-1785 or 610-250-1786.

Met-Ed...A First Energy Company
Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP)
Alternative payment plan for low-income, payment troubled residential customers.  Eligibility: household income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must apply for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) and Energy Conservation and Education Program (WARM), if eligible.  Contact 1-800-545-7741.

Dollar Energy Fund (DEF)

Emergency hardship funds help residential customers who have suffered recent financial hardship and need temporary help paying their electric bill.  Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must have paid $150 within past 90 days plus reconnect fee to be reconnected.  Funding is limited.  Contact 1-800-545-7741.

 

Low Income Usage Reduction Program (WARM)

Free weatherization and energy education program for residential customer with usage in excess of an average of 600 kWh per month.  Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines or 200% of the federal poverty where special needs exist; Own or rent a house or apartment (if a renter, utility company will contact landlord for permission).  Contact 1-800-207-9276.

Pathways--Lehigh County Conference of Churches
610-439-8653
Advocacy and assistance with utility problems.

Pennsylvania Utility Law Project
717-232-2719       
Client Eligibility: Groups and individuals who present a utility or energy problem or issue having a substantial impact on people with low-income.  Areas of Expertise: Utility terminations and payment arrangements; Utility customer service obligations; Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) ; Landlord-tenant related utility issues; Universal Service Programs such as Customer Assistance Programs (CAP), Low-Income Usage Reduction Programs (LIURP), Lifeline , Link-Up America , and Universal Telephone Assistance Program (UTAP) ; Weatherization; and consumer issues in electric and natural gas restructuring.  Must meet income eligibility guidelines.

PPL Electric Utilities Corp. Inc.
PPL Special Services   1-800-342-5775
Customers with past due bills may contact PPL and request budget billing (payment agreement). Monthly bills will be the same amount until the total bill is paid.   PPL may adjust the bill four times a year, up or down, depending on customer’s use. Customers must meet income eligibility guidelines.

PPL Phase-In Plan

Starting Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, PPL Electric Utilities customers can enroll in a phase-in program to reduce the impact of rate hikes that will begin in January 2010 when state-imposed rate caps expire.  Rate Hikes: PPL is projecting a 34.4 percent hike in 2010 residential rates based on the price of electricity it has prepurchased.  Voluntary Phase-In Plan: Allows customers to make advance payments from October to December 2009.  Those payments, plus 6 percent interest, would be applied to bills in 2010 and 2011, rather than a one-time increase when the rate cap expires in 2010.  How to enroll: Send in a tear-off sheet found on the electric bill and other mailing, sign up online, or call 1-866-597-2010 weekdays 8:00am-7:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-5:00pm.

 

PPL OnTrack Payment Plan

Consumer Assistance Program: enrolled customers agree to make regular monthly payments to the electric company based on household size and gross income.   Regular monthly payments may be an amount that is less than the current bill for electric service.   PPL Electric Utilities Corp. works with customers to determine what customers can pay, instead of what they use.

Eligibility Requirements: Household income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must be trouble-payment; Must have household income; Income documentation is required.  Customers must agree to follow certain rules to remain eligible (pay Payment Amount in full each month, keep electric use at or below usage limit, permit access to meter, and notifying program if situation changes).  Customers must contact Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) to apply 610-691-5620, call PPL at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775) or by clicking on the link to the PPL web site.

 

PPL CARES

Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Services Program (CARES): PPL assists customers with special needs find ways to pay their bills.   Special needs include family emergencies, divorce, unemployment, or medical emergencies.

Customers must meet income eligibility limits and be payment-troubled (made payment agreement with PPL).

 

PPL Operation Help

A hardship fund supported by donations.  The program is open year-round and pays any type of home energy bill for low-income customers.  Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must be a PPL residential customer; Available once in a calendar year; Should have an overdue balance of $250 to qualify for a grant; Income documentation is required.  Customers must contact Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) to apply 610-691-5620, call PPL at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775) or by clicking on the link to the PPL web site.

 

PPL WRAP (Winter Relief Assistance Program)

1-888-232-6302

Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP): assists customers in lowering their electric bills by lowering the amount of energy used each month.   A professional contractor (at no cost to the customer) installs energy saving features or makes energy efficient improvements in customers’ homes to help reduce bills.   Customers may qualify for energy efficient appliances, or home weatherization services such as basement or attic insulation, caulking, and repairs.  Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Own or rent a house or apartment.  (If a renter, PPL will contact landlord for permission.); Live in a home that has not received WRAP services for at least seven years; Reside in the household.  Customers must contact Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) to apply 610-691-5620, call PPL at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775), or by clicking on the link to the PPL web site.

 

PPL Double Notice Protection

1-800-342-5775

Voluntary and free of charge service which assists customers in avoiding shutoffs because they missed or didn't understand a late-payment notice.   PPL sends copies of shutoff notices to a relative, friend, clergy member, or community agency (person or community agency that receives a copy of customer’s shut off notice is not responsible for payment of bill).

 

PPL Due Date Extension

1-800-342-5775

Customers who receive Social Security benefits may change the electric bill due date to coincide with arrival of Social Security check.   PPL will work with customers to establish an agreed upon payment schedule.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission--Responsible Utility Consumer Protection Act
During the winter months (Dec.1-March 31), the law provides special protection against service shutoffs for low income and people who are certified as seriously ill.  Contact 1-800-692-7380.  For people with speech or hearing loss, dial 7-1-1 (Telecommunications Relay Service).

Salvation Army
Allentown: 1444 N. 8th St., Allentown, PA 18101
610-432-0129 or 610-432-0128   
Bethlehem:521 Pembroke Rd., Bethlehem, PA 18018
610-867-4681  
Assistance with gas bill (UGI), energy assistance (UGI).

Telephone Bills/Installation Assistance
I
f you receive public assistance (TANF), food stamps, SSI or Medical Assistance, you may be eligible for help with your local phone bill.  Call 1-800-771-3312 (helps with past due Verizon bills) or your local phone company.

Turn Down.  Seal Off.   Save Up.
1-866-550-4355
Home heating costs are higher than ever.  Combined with increasing food and gas prices, staying warm all through this winter could be very difficulty.  Pennsylvania is doing everything it can to provide financial help to pay home heating bills and westernization expenses, but making sure you have the resources to outlast winter starts with you.  With a little planning and a little knowledge, you'll be protected from the cold and your heat can last all winter.  View tips, information on financial aid, resources on staying warm , and winter heating safety points.

UGI Utilities Inc.

UGI Offers Help for Customers Applying for Grants


UGI Customer Assistance Program (CAP)
Monthly payment based on gross income, household size, and usage at the property.  Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must have active residential heating or non-heating UGI account; Head of household (applicant) must reside at property.  Contact 1-800-UGI-WARM (1-800-844-9276 ).     

UGI Low Income Self Help Program (LISHP)

Consumer Assistance Program: enrolled customers agree to make regular monthly payments to the natural gas company based on household size and gross income.  Regular monthly payments may be an amount that is less than the current bill for electric service.  UGI works with customers to determine what customers can pay, instead of what they use.

Eligibility Requirements: Customers must meet income eligibility limits and be payment-troubled (made payment agreement with UGI).

Customers must contact Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) to apply 610-691-5620

 

UGI CARES

Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Services Program (CARES)

UGI assists customers with special needs find ways to pay their bills.   Special needs include family emergencies, divorce, unemployment, or medical emergencies.  Customers must meet income eligibility limits and be payment-troubled (made payment agreement with UGI).

 

UGI Operation Share Fuel Fund

UGI assists customers in paying their electric bill by providing assistance grants to customers on fixed or low incomes who don’t qualify for other financial assistance programs, or to those who still have a critical need for assistance when there are no other resources available. Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must reside in UGI's service territory; Outstanding balance on their UGI bill; Eligible every 12 months.  Contact: The Salvation Army.  Allentown: 610-432-0129.  Bethlehem: 610-867-4681.  Easton: 610-258-9531.

 

UGI Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP)

Assists customers in lowering their natural gas bills by lowering the amount of energy used each month.   A professional contractor (at no cost to the customer) installs energy saving features or makes energy efficient improvements in customers’ homes to help reduce bills.   Customers may qualify for energy efficient appliances, or home weatherization services such as basement or attic insulation, caulking, and repairs.  Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines; Must have active service for 12 consecutive months; Ratepayer must reside at the property.  Customers must contact Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) to apply 610-691-5620 or call UGI at 1-800-UGI-WARM (1-800-844-9276).

 

UGI Due Date Extension

Customers who receive Social Security benefits may change the natural gas bill due date to coincide with arrival of Social Security check.   UGI will work with customers to establish an agreed upon payment schedule.

Universal Telecommunications Assistance Program (UTAP)
UTAP assists Verizon customers in paying their overdue bills, avoid shut off, or restore telephone service. 
Customers who are eligible for UTAP are also eligible for Lifeline or Lifeline 150.  Customers must meet income eligibility limit or be a Public Assistance or SSI* benefits recipient.

Verizon
1-800-640-4155
Lifeline phone installation/service for low-income.

  
 
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