FAIRMONT, W.Va. – With the cold weather slowly approaching our area, First Energy wanted to remind their West Virginia customers they have financial assistance programs available for those who need help paying their winter heating bills.
First Energy spokes-person Lauren Siburkis said during the winter customers usually spend more time indoors, using lights for longer periods of time.
“Were using more electronic devices like TV’s, laptops, and gaming systems which all contribute to higher energy cost,” said Siburkis. “Also, a lot of our customers have electric heating and use space heaters to provide extra comfort in the cold weather. And those are all factors that can contribute to higher energy cost.”
Siburkis said customers there are several reasons that could cause an increase in your energy bill during the winter.
“The larger the difference between the outdoor air temperature and your thermostat setting, the harder your heating system has to work and the more energy your going to consume,” explained Siburkis.
Siburkis also stated First Energy encourage customers to reduce their thermostat by one degree. Doing so can reduce customers energy cost bills by at least 2 percent.
They offer installment plans and government assistant programs. Each program has they’re on lists of qualifications.
Qualifying customers could receive assistance through the Dollar Energy Fund, West Virginia Emergency Assistance Program, Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), or West Virginia 20 Percent Discount Program.
- Dollar Energy Fund is designed to help customers restore or maintain electric service. With this assistance, customers are eligible to potential receive up to $500 while funds are available.
- West Virginia Emergency Assistance Program was designed to help eligible customers avoid termination of electric service.
- LIEAP is broken up into two components. LIEAP helps with home heating bills. Emergency-LIEAPA provides payments to help maintain or restore service.
- West Virginia 20 Percent Discount Program reduces an eligible customer’s utility bill by 20 percent.
If interested in one of the assistance programs customers can contact First Energy Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Customers can also visit their website to learn more about the bill assistance programs.