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Assistance for your energy bills during the coronavirus outbreak
Here's how to stay on top of your utility bills during the pandemic.
If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are resources that can help. Most utility providers have financial hardship programs available to help ease the burden of your bills during this stressful time.
How are energy providers responding to the coronavirus pandemic?
In general, energy providers across the US are responding to the coronavirus outbreak by suspending nonpayment shutoffs, especially for low-income and senior customers. Exact COVID-19 extension policies vary by provider, but most energy companies are suspending shut-offs through at least April 30, 2020.
If your energy company hasn’t issued a statement in regard to coronavirus, you still might be able to get financial assistance through a payment assistance program.
What is a payment assistance program?
A payment assistance program is a way for low-income households to lower their monthly energy bill. Programs vary by provider, and usually include state-funded aid, so eligibility also depends on where you live. Typically, your income needs to be a set percentage rate beneath the statewide median income to qualify.
Call your energy provider to inquire about payment assistance programs that might be available for you.
State responses to help with your energy bills
Most states are taking action to help citizens cope with lost jobs and a financial uncertainty during the pandemic. Get in touch with your local government to learn about whether assistance might be available for you.
As of April 2nd, the following states have banned utility shut-offs during shelter-in-place to protect that can’t afford their bills:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Keep in mind that even though shut-offs are banned, in most cases customers will be put on deferred payment plans — so you’ll pay that bill later on.
Coronavirus assistance from your energy provider
Here’s a list of the top 20 energy companies across the US, along with direct links to information about their COVID-19 response. Most coronavirus-specific policies apply to both residential and business customers.
|Atmos Energy Corporation||888-286-6700||More info|
|Centerpoint Energy Entex||800-495-9880||More info|
|Consolidated Edison New York Inc||800-752-6633||More info|
|Consumers Energy Company||800-477-5050||More info|
|Dominion Energy||Varies by state||More info|
|DTE Gas Company||800-477-4747||More info|
|Natural Grid||Varies by region||More info|
|Nicor Gas||888-642-6748||More info|
|Oklahoma Natural Gas||800-664-5463||More info|
|Pacific Gas||877-660-6789||More info|
|Piedmont Natural Gas||800-752-7504||More info|
|Public Service Electric & Gas||New Jersey: 800-436-7734|
Long Island: 899-490-0025
|Puget Sound Energy||888-225-5773||More info|
|San Diego Gas and Electric Company||800-411-7343||More info|
|Southern California Gas Company||800-427-2200||More info|
|Southwest Gas||877-860-6020||More info|
|Spire Missouri Inc||800-887-4173||More info|
|Washington Gas||844-927-4427||More info|
|We Energies||800-242-9137||More info|
|Xcel Energy||800-895-4999||More info|
More ways to get financial help during the coronavirus pandemic
If coronavirus has put a strain on your finances, these resources can help ease the burden:
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