As moratorium expires, Vectren customers urged to seek out special payment arrangements
As the end of the winter heating season approaches, Vectren Energy Delivery 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 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," Mike Roeder, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana, said.
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.
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.
Customers can 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.