Financial assistance programs for heating available in West Virginia

FAIRMONT — Financial assistance programs are available for FirstEnergy customers in West Virginia who need help with winter heating bills, the company said.

FirstEnergy’s West Virginia utilities include Mon Power and Potomac Edison.

Assistance to qualifying customers is available through the Dollar Energy Fund, the West Virginia Emergency Assistance Program, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and the West Virginia 20 Percent Discount Program.

* Dollar Energy Fund is an emergency hardship fund designed to help residential customers restore or maintain electric service. Eligible customers may receive up to $500, while funds are available. Program funding is provided by FirstEnergy customers, company employees, and FirstEnergy shareholders. The distribution of funds is administered by the Dollar Energy Fund. For information call 888-282-6816 or visit www.hardshiptools.org/AgencyFinder.aspx.

* West Virginia Emergency Assistance Program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to help eligible customers avoid termination of electric service. Customers must present a disconnect notice at the county DHHR office. Emergency Assistance is a one-time payment that is applied to the customer’s account. To apply call 304-356-4619 to find a local DHHR office.

* LIEAP is administered by the West Virginia DHHR. This program has two components; LIEAP and Emergency LIEAP. LIEAP provides assistance with home heating bills. Emergency-LIEAP (E-LIEAP) provides payments to help maintain or restore service. Prior-year recipients typically receive an application in December to reapply, with new applications accepted in the January or early February timeframe depending on the DHHR schedule. Additional DHHR information is available by calling 304-356-4619 or by visiting www.wvinroads.org.

* West Virginia 20 Percent Discount Program is administered by the West Virginia DHHR, Office of Family Support, and can reduce an eligible customer’s utility bill by 20 percent. Customers can obtain applications from the DHHR and send the completed forms to: Mon Power/Potomac Edison, 20 Percent Discount Program, 5001 NASA Blvd., Fairmont, WV, 26554. Applicants can call 304-356-4619 for additional information.

To apply or learn more about other company programs, go to firstenergycorp.com/billassist or call 800- 686-0022.

Mon Power and Potomac Edison residential customers also can manage their electric bills through the Average Payment Plan (APP). With APP, customers can make consistent monthly payments to avoid seasonal highs and lows in their electric bills.

In addition to the payment options, a Medical Certification program also is available.

An appropriate health care professional must complete a Medical Certification Form describing the resident’s medical condition enabling additional notification prior to termination.

Mon Power and Potomac Edison also offer Third Party Notification where a relative, friend, clergy or social service agency can be notified along with the customer if electric service is about to be disconnected. The third party is not obligated to pay the overdue bills but can help make payment arrangements for the customer who might have difficulty paying their bill.