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Delayed Winter Utility Shutoffs Going Into Effect

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CenterPoint Energy, located on Riverside Drive in Evansville.

The Winter power shut off moratorium for low income individuals has ended — CenterPoint Energy is urging customers to make payment arrangements if they've received a disconnect notice

CenterPoint Energy’s latest news release urges customers to get on a payment plan as the winter power shut off moratorium ends.

That moratorium for certain customers ended March 15.

This was Indiana’s "winter regulatory moratorium." It temporarily suspends disconnections of customers who meet low-income guidelines, and have received federal and state utility heating assistance, according to the utility company.

This means that any one who received a disconnect notice will now be subject to that disconnection unless they call and make arrangements.

CenterPoint is offering possible payment programs as the moratorium ends, like the Energy Assistance Program, the Universal Service Program, Due Date Extension and Payment Arrangement, and Budget Bill.

More on Individual Programs 

  • Energy Assistance Program (EAP): State and federal utility assistance dollars are available for income-eligible customers. Those that fall within 60 percent of state median income should visit their local community action agency to sign up for the EAP. To apply for the EAP, customers should call 1-800-872-0371 to locate their nearest community action agency. Customers may also apply any time at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority website at www.EAP.ihcda.in.gov.
  • Universal Service Program (USP): All eligible natural gas heating customers who apply and qualify for EAP will automatically be enrolled in the USP, which provides additional gas bill reductions that range from 15 to 32 percent of the total bill received (not including EAP benefits) in the months of December through May. The USP, which has been in place since 2005 is the result of a collaborative effort by CenterPoint Energy, Citizens Energy Group, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, Citizens Action Coalition and a group representing industrial customers.
  • Due Date Extension and Payment Arrangement: These are two free offerings which are available to customers in need of a special payment plan on a temporary basis in order to keep service connected and manage energy costs.
  • Energy efficiency resources: CenterPoint Energy offers energy efficiency tips, appliance rebates and energy-saving tools to help customers lower their natural gas bills. All Indiana residential and small commercial natural gas customers are eligible. Visit www.centerpointenergy.com/smartsavings or call 1-866-240-8476 for a list of rebates, qualifying appliances and energy efficiency tips.
  • Budget Bill: Under this billing plan, a customer's estimated costs for a year of gas service are spread in equal monthly bill amounts for the year. This leveling of monthly bill amounts reduces the need to pay the full amount in the winter and spreads some of those higher bill charges into the non-heating months. Amounts are adjusted each summer for actual costs, and the customer’s credit or amount due rolls into the next Budget Bill payment for the next 12-month period. Customers can enroll for free on www.centerpointenergy.com or by calling 1-800-227-1376.

Source: CenterPoint Energy