Assistance & Service Programs

Do you need help with your electric bill? Review these programs for the solution that works best for you:

Convenient ways to pay your bill 

We offer a variety of convenient billing and payment options, including the following programs. Review this website or contact us for more information:

Online Bill Payment
You can pay your electric bill anytime on our website at Just register your account and follow the prompts. Your payment is safe, secure, and convenient.

Checkless Payment Plan
Our Checkless Payment Plan automatically deducts your payment from your checking or savings account every month. You don't have to worry about writing checks, buying stamps or possibly losing your payment in the mail.  Learn more about our Checkless Payment Plan.

Equal Payment Plan
Our Equal Payment Plan (EPP) offers you the convenience of making consistent monthly payments and avoiding the normal seasonal highs and lows in your electric bills.

As an EPP customer, each month you are billed one-twelfth of your annual estimated usage. Your account will be reviewed quarterly to determine if your payment amount should change to better reflect your actual usage. If the review results in a change to the EPP amount, you will get a message on your bill advising you of the new amount, which will become effective the following month.  On the twelfth month of your payment plan year - your anniversary month - your amount due may be higher or lower than your usual EPP amount in order to bring your balance for the year to zero.  Then your account is reviewed to ensure the appropriate payment amount for the new plan year.

There is no charge to be an EPP customer, but if you decide to return to standard billing, contact us via our web form or call us. Click here to learn more about the Equal Payment Plan.

Extended Due Date
If you are at least 60 years old and receive a Social Security or pension check, or if you receive disability assistance, and your electric bill is usually due just before your monthly benefit check comes, we can extend your payment due date until after your check arrives.

Extended Payment Plan
If conditions make it difficult to pay your electric bill on time, we can arrange an extended payment plan. This maintains service while you make payments more suited to your financial situation.

Military Deferred Payment Program
This program is designed to assist customers who are having financial difficulties because their family members have been called to active military duty. Customers participating in the program may elect to defer paying either all or a part of their monthly electric bill. When the family member in the military service returns home, the account will be reviewed to determine payment arrangements for the balance owed. Call 1-800-686-3421 for more information

Customers who have switched to an alternative generation supplier may defer the charges paid to their supplier only if that supplier offers a deferred payment program. If your supplier does not offer a deferred payment program, the supplier charges must be paid each month.

Help paying your bill

Call the numbers associated with each of the following programs for further information:

Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus)
The Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) is an extended payment arrangement that allows regulated gas and electric companies to accept payments based on a percentage of a customer's household income. Eligible customers have a household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.

Customers enrolled in this program must pay a percentage of their household income - the PIPP Plus Amount - every month of the year. Customers who do not heat their homes with electricity will be required to pay 6 percent of their gross monthly household income each month or $10 (whichever is more). Customers who heat their homes with electricity will be required to pay 10 percent of their gross monthly household income each month or $10 (whichever is more).

Customers who are no longer eligible for PIPP Plus because of their household income may participate in the PIPP Plus Arrearage Crediting (PAC) plan. PAC helps customers pay off the amount in arrears that was deferred while enrolled in PIPP Plus. Download PIPP Plus brochure

Community Outreach Opportunity Program (CO-OP) - Cleveland Salvation Army  216-861-8185
CO-OP is an emergency hardship fund designed to help residential customers who have suffered a recent financial hardship and need temporary help in paying their electric bills. Program funding is provided by The Illuminating Company customers, company employees, and FirstEnergy shareholders. The distribution of funds is administered by the Cleveland Salvation Army.

To make a contribution to CO-OP, please complete and return this contribution form.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) 1-800-589-3101
HEAP is a federally funded grant program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency through a network of local community action agencies. HEAP provides customers help with paying winter heating bills, and occasionally summer cooling bills.

HEAP has two components:

  1. HEAP Cash Program - Annual grant to help with heating costs.
  2. HEAP Emergency Program - Provides an emergency payment (once per heating season) for qualified low-income customers. The payment must be used to avoid a shutoff or restore electric service. Application dates are October through April.

Emergency Assistance
Additional help in paying utility bills might be available to low-income residents through local county departments of human services, community action agencies, the soldier's relief commissions or veteran's services offices. Consult the blue pages of your telephone directory for listings.

Ohio Fuel Fund Grant Program
The Ohio Fuel Fund Grant Program is designed to assist residential customers with the payment of their electric bill to maintain their service, or to assist in establishing service for new electric service applicants who have an unpaid bill from a previous residence. This program support is provided through FirstEnergy corporate funds. Applicants for grant assistance must meet certain household income and other program qualification requirements. Approved grants are applied directly to utility bills. The distribution of funds is administered by community-based organizations located throughout The Illuminating Company service territory.

Click here to view Ohio Fuel Fund Agencies

Special assistance programs - medical needs and notifications

Contact us for more information about the following programs:

Critical Customer Care Program
The Critical Customer Care Program identifies customers who use certain electrically operated life sustaining medical equipment in their home. The program helps customers -- for whom a service interruption could be immediately life threatening, or would make operation of necessary medical or life supporting equipment impossible or impractical -- prepare for planned and unplanned power outages. Please call us if someone in your home uses this type of medical equipment. 

Medical Certification
Customers with severe health problems may have a licensed physician certify in writing that a termination of electric service would be especially dangerous. The medical certification will postpone the termination of electric service for 30 days. The certification is designed to provide the customer with additional time to pay their past-due balance. The customer is still responsible for the past-due amount and will be given the opportunity to pay the balance in monthly installments.

Third Party Notification
Select a third party (a friend, relative, clergy, or social service agency) to be notified, along with yourself, if your electric service is about to be disconnected. The third party is not obligated to pay overdue bills, but can remind you of pending disconnection and help you make payment arrangements.