Published on November 26, 2022 7:08 am
by Jill Whalen [email protected]
Winter is approaching and the cost of heating homes continues to rise.
The municipal utilities will also adjust their seasonal electricity purchase prices – and they will also increase for most customers.
But there is some help for qualified low-income homeowners and renters through the annual Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
And for those who don’t meet the guidelines for financial assistance programs, the state’s Public Utilities Commission offers some tips to help individuals save energy and money.
LIHEAP has begun accepting applications for cash and crisis grants and will continue to do so through April 28.
The federally funded program is administered by the Department of Human Services, and its aid is distributed in the form of a grant directly to a household’s utility company or heating oil supplier, so individuals do not have to make any repayments.
“No one should ever have to worry about their heating being turned off during the coldest, darkest months of the year, so I encourage anyone who needs help, or anyone who has family or neighbors who could benefit from this program, to do so apply for LIHEAP today,” said Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Assistant Secretary Inez Titus.
The income limit for the program is 150 percent of the federal poverty line. For an individual, that translates to gross income of $20,385 per year and for a family of four, gross income is $41,625 per year.
Grants range from $300 to $1,000. During the 2021-22 season, 112,029 Pennsylvania households received a total of $73,027,268 from the program. The average payment was $596. To apply for LIHEAP, visit www.compass.state.pa.us or call 1-866-550-4355.
Electricity and natural gas utilities are changing their reference price for private customers on December 1st. The PTC is the price customers pay for electricity generation if they continue to buy from their local utilities and is a premium on the energy bills they pay each month to use.
On average, it accounts for between 40% and 60% of total electricity bills.
All of Pennsylvania’s regulated electric utilities will adjust their PTCs for non-buying residential customers earlier in the month, including PPL customers, whose PTCs will increase from 12.366 cents to 14.612 cents per kilowatt-hour.
According to the PUC, the PTC is not always a stable price and may vary quarterly. Customers looking for more stability in their electricity plans can select a new provider by visiting www.PAPowerSwitch.com.
Natural gas customers may also have noticed price adjustments on their PTCs, which typically average between 40% and 60% of total electricity bills. You can visit PUC’s natural gas shopping website at PAGasSwitch.com.
The PUC found that those struggling with their bills should call their electricity, natural gas, water, sewage or telecom providers. You can also visit the PUC website at www.puc.pa.gov/ and click #CallUtilitiesNow to learn more about financial assistance programs.
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