Citizens Energy Group Highlights Ongoing Financial Support Opportunities
INDIANAPOLIS – Next Wednesday, March 15, is the final day of a seasonal Indiana moratorium on natural gas utility disconnections resulting from non-payment. The moratorium runs from December 1 through March 15 each year and protects customers who qualify for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) from having natural gas service disconnected for non-payment.
“One of our top priorities at Citizens Energy Group is ensuring customers in need know how to access every possible assistance tool,” said Jeffrey Harrison, President & CEO. “As we come to the end of the state’s winter shutoff moratorium, we continue to make every effort to equip our customers with the support they need.”
Each year, Citizens customers can apply for the Energy Assistance Program through May 15 and must meet defined income requirements (60 percent or less of the state median income) to qualify. Also sometimes known as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), EAP is a federally funded program that is administered at the state level and facilitated in Marion County by the John Boner Neighborhood Center. While applying for EAP, income-eligible customers also can easily apply for the Low-Income Home Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). In addition, Citizens customers approved for EAP will automatically receive a 10 to 25 percent discount on their natural gas bills through May 15 and a $6 to $15 credit on their wastewater bills starting in July.
More information on EAP and how to apply can be found at citizensenergygroup.com/help or by dialing Indiana 211. Citizens encourages those who do not qualify for EAP to apply for United Way of Central Indiana’s Winter Assistance Fund; the application period for this program runs through the end of May. Within Citizens Energy Group, the Warm Heart Warm Home Foundation™ is another financial assistance opportunity, offering grants to customers to help them sustain their utility services and catch up on past-due bills. For those customers who are behind on bills, flexible payment arrangements also may be an option.
Citizens provided more than $1.5 million in bill assistance last year through its various financial assistance programs. Between February 2022 and February 2023, Citizens also completed 35 home-weatherization projects as part of an ongoing program assisting low-income homeowners with high energy usage. These projects provided customers with furnace tune-ups/repairs, insulation, duct sealing and low-flow aerators.
Starting last October, Citizens joined with AES Indiana for a collaborative informational campaign called “Utilities Unite for Customers” to utilize various communications channels, including bill inserts and social media posts, to raise awareness of utility bill assistance sources.
Customers in need of assistance should visit citizensenergygroup.com/help or call Citizens at (317) 924-3311 to further discuss their options.