The Illuminating CompanyAssistance & Service Programs
Do you need help with your electric bill? Please review these programs for the solution that works best for you.
You may be eligible to enroll in one of these payment assistance programs to help you get through your current financial hardship.
- Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) -- 1-800-282-0880
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 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.
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) -- 1-800-589-3101
HEAP is a federally funded grant program administered by the State of Ohio Department of Development 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 (Winter Crisis) and July through August (Summer Crisis). Download HEAP Application.
- Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy (OPAE) Fuel Fund - 1-800-282-0880
OPAE Fuel Fund provides financial assistance to eligible low- to moderate-income customers to help pay their electric bills. Customers must be at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines and must apply for the HEAP or HEAP Crisis program, if available. Customer may apply for OPAE Fuel Fund, HEAP and HEAP Crisis at their local HEAP provider. The OPAE Fuel Fund opens in March and ends when the funds are exhausted.
- 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 and company employees. 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.
- Emergency Assistance
Additional help in paying utility bills may also be available to low-income residents through local county departments of human services, community action agencies, soldier's relief commissions or veteran's services offices. Consult the blue pages of your telephone directory for listings.
- Military Deferred Payment Program -- 1-800-686-9901
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.
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.
- 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:
- Cleveland Housing Network - 216-912-2211
2999 Payne Avenue, Suite 306
Cleveland, OH 44114
- Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland - 216-263-6266 or 216-518-4014
1228 Euclid Avenue, Suite 700
Cleveland, OH 44115
- Cleveland Housing Network - 216-912-2211
- 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. In order to be eligible for this extension, you must be current with your payment and maintain this status, or you may be removed from this payment arrangement.
- 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.
- Installment Plans
Keep your account current with affordable installments to be paid with your monthly bill. Log in to your account or register online to see if you are eligible for an installment plan.
Contact us for information about the following programs:
- Critical Care Program
The Critical 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.
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