Indiana power company urges customers behind on payments to make - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana power company urges customers behind on payments to make arrangements

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INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) -- The end of winter is approaching and Vectren Energy Delivery is reminding customers that a regulatory moratorium which prevents utilities from disconnecting customers who meet low-income guidelines and have received federal and state utility heating assistance will expire March 17.

That's according to a news release from Vectren.

Customers who need bill payment assistance are urged to contact Vectren online using the Live Chat feature or at 1-800-227-1376 to make payment arrangements and avoid potential disconnection. Vectren does not disconnect service in extreme cold weather.

"We have a number of programs, resources and payment options in place that can help customers who may be experiencing financial hardship or have found themselves behind on bill payments," said Mike Roeder, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana - North.

In light of extreme winter weather that has forced bills higher, Vectren has allocated $300,000 in crisis assistance dollars since mid-February and recently pledged another $450,000 to help those challenged to pay.

Furthermore, the company has continued several programs and created a new payment plan to help Hoosiers manage costs now that assistance funds will soon be exhausted. These include second chance options for those who have previously broken payment arrangements and longer-term payment arrangements that allow payments to be made in smaller increments over several months.

 

 

March 10, 2014

Media contact: Chase Kelley, 812-491-4128 or kckelley@vectren.com

 

Moratorium expires March 17; Indiana customers urged to contact Vectren for special payment arrangements

 

Indianapolis, Ind. – As the end of the winter heating season approaches, Vectren Energy Delivery (Vectren) wants to remind customers that the regulatory moratorium, which prevents utilities from disconnecting customers who meet low-income guidelines and have received federal and state utility heating assistance, will expire on Monday, March 17.

 

Customers who have received a disconnect notice or need bill payment assistance are urged to contact Vectren online using the Live Chat feature or at 1-800-227-1376 to make payment arrangements and avoid potential disconnection. Vectren does not disconnect service in extreme cold weather, however.

 

"We have a number of programs, resources and payment options in place that can help customers who may be experiencing financial hardship or have found themselves behind on bill payments," said Mike Roeder, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana - North.

 

In light of extreme winter weather that has forced bills higher, Vectren has allocated $300,000 in crisis assistance dollars since mid-February and recently pledged another $450,000 to help those challenged to pay. Furthermore, the company has continued several programs and created a new payment plan to help Hoosiers manage costs given assistance funds will soon be exhausted. These include second chance options for those who have previously broken payment arrangements and longer-term payment arrangements that allow payments to be made in smaller increments over several months.

 

Choose from the following free Vectren billing and payment options: 

  • Payment Arrangement: Customers who are having difficulty paying bills in full can request a payment arrangement to fulfill the obligation in smaller increments over a set period of time. Eligible customers can request a payment arrangement for free by calling 1-800-227-1376.
     
  • Energy Assistance Program (EAP):  State and federal utility assistance dollars are still available for income-eligible customers. Those that fall below 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines should visit their local community action agency to sign up for EAP. Visit www.incap.org or call 1-800-382-9895 to locate the local community action agency.
     
  • Universal Service Program: Natural gas customers who qualify for EAP will be automatically enrolled in the Universal Service Program (USP). The USP provides a discount on natural gas bills of eligible low-income customers from December through May. 

Customers are also encouraged to apply for all residential (home or rental) weatherization programs, including programs available through community action agencies and Energizing Indiana, which can be accessed at www.energizingindiana.com or by calling 1-888-446-7750.

Finally, all customers are encouraged to follow a number of free and low-cost energy conservation tips, as colder weather continues to linger. Many more tips, including rebates on high-efficiency appliances, can be found at www.vectren.com/savenergy or by calling Vectren's Conservation Connection contact center at 1-866-240-8476. 

  • Set the thermostat on 68 degrees or lower. Plus, for every 1 degree you lower the thermostat for a sustained, eight-hour period, you could see up to 3 percent in additional savings.
  • Open your curtains during the day to let in the sun. Using the sun's heat can save up to 2 percent in heating costs.
  • Consider installing a new furnace if your unit is more than 15 years old. The furnace is the number one appliance in consuming natural gas, and today's models are up to 97 percent efficient. Vectren offers rebates toward the purchase of new, high-efficiency units.
  • Make sure heating/air vents are open and not blocked by curtains or furniture.
  • Close your fireplace damper when not in use to prevent the warm air from escaping.
  • Have your furnace maintained annually by a qualified technician and check your air filter regularly. Having a professional inspection of your heating system on a regular basis will help lower your heating bills 3 to 10 percent as well as maximize the life of your furnace.
  • Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. By changing the direction to clockwise in the winter, the fan will circulate the warm air.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip around your doors and windows to reduce air leakage and save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
  • Consider upgrading your attic and/or wall insulation to save up to 25 percent on heating and cooling costs. Vectren offers a rebate up to $450 for these services.

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