First Energy offers bill assistance
PARKERSBURG — Residential and business customers of FirstEnergy Corp.’s Mon Power and Potomac Edison utilities who are having difficulty making ends meet are encouraged to contact the utility to enroll in payment plans or bill assistance programs.
While shutoffs for nonpayment are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, establishing an affordable payment arrangement or obtaining assistance can help keep balances manageable during this difficult time.
“We understand many customers are in a difficult financial situation because of the pandemic,” said Michelle Henry, vice president of customer service at FirstEnergy. “Customers who have lost income during this crisis may be eligible for assistance that was unavailable to them before, but some of those programs might not be available later, when overdue balances must be addressed.”
Customer service representatives are available to assist residential customers with manageable payment arrangements and can provide customers with information on needs-based assistance programs. These programs may help customers avoid a large bill that would otherwise be due when the temporary suspension on shutoffs ends.
Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in West Virginia may be eligible for one or more of the following assistance programs:
* Dollar Energy Fund 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 bill. Program funding is provided by FirstEnergy customers, employees, shareholders and other sources. The distribution of funds is administered by community-based organizations throughout Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s West Virginia service territory. For information contact Mon Power or Potomac Edison. The online application process, along with a list of local Dollar Energy agencies, is available at the Dollar Energy Application Process.
* West Virginia Emergency Assistance Program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to help eligible customers avoid termination of electric service. Emergency Assistance is a one-time payment that is applied to the customer’s account. Customers must present a disconnect notice at the county DHHR office. For information call 304-558-0684 or find a local DHHR office here Department of Health & Human Resources Agency Finder.
* West Virginia 20 Percent Discount Program is administered by the West Virginia DHHR, Office of Family Support, and can reduce a low-income customers’ utility bill by 20 percent from November to March. Eligible 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 also call 304-558-0684 for additional information.
* 211 is a nationwide resource and information helpline that identifies locally available programs that may assist customers with utility bills or other needs. For more information dial 211, visit www.wv211.org or text your ZIP code to 898211.
For additional program information, go to firstenergycorp.com/billassist.
FirstEnergy’s utilities also have established a customer service team dedicated to assisting business and commercial customers. This team can provide helpful information on available assistance programs and offer payment arrangements if needed. To explore these programs, please contact your utility company and ask to speak with a member of the Small Business Team. West Virginia utility customer service numbers are:
* Mon Power, 1-800-736-3407
* Potomac Edison, 1-800-736-3401
Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties. Potomac Edison serves about 137,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.