Rushville Republican

Opinion

February 26, 2013

Energy assistance is available

RUSHVILLE — Dear Editor:

Winter heating bills can be a hardship for individuals and families who are already struggling financially. This year, Duke Energy Indiana customers in need are receiving significantly more funds to help pay their electricity bills. We are contributing $700,000 annually over the next five years for low-income energy assistance as part of our company’s Edwardsport plant regulatory settlement.

Our customers and employees have contributed an additional $100,000 in assistance, raising our total Indiana energy assistance funds this year to $800,000.

This year’s funding triples the amount each customer can receive. Customers who need help paying their electricity bills can receive up to $300 toward their bill if their local Energy Assistance Program agency determines they are eligible based on need and other criteria. Previously, customers were only eligible for up to $100.

In addition, for at least the next five years, we are expanding the program to include any Duke Energy Indiana customer who qualifies based on income guidelines. Previously, only low-income customers at least 60 years old or disabled were eligible.

Experience teaches us that customers who cannot pay their power bills often face other hardships. That’s why we work closely with social service agencies, including community action agencies around the state, to weave a larger safety net to assist our customers. We partner with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which distributes our assistance funds.

For information on where to find the local energy assistance agency serving you, go to www.incap.org, or call Duke Energy at 1-800-521-2232.

As winter winds down but heating bills linger, we hope these funds lend a helping hand to those most in need.

Catherine R. Wenning

Duke Energy, East District Manager

 

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