With the state’s winter moratorium ending today, the Northern Indiana Public
Service Company (NIPSCO) is reminding customers with outstanding balances
enrolled in the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that a
number of assistance programs, payment arrangements, and energy efficiency
programs are available to help customers with their utility bills.
Between Dec. 1 and March 15, natural gas utilities in Indiana do not
disconnect service to LIHEAP customers who are delinquent on their home
“This winter, mild temperatures in combination with low natural gas prices
have helped keep bills lower than past years,” said Cindy Jackson, manager
of energy efficiency and energy assistance programs for NIPSCO. “Despite
these favorable conditions, there are still people struggling with their
bills, so these programs are very important to our communities.”
There are several options available to offer utility bill assistance for
households that are experiencing financial challenges, including:
•Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Program: LIHEAP support
is available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty
guidelines, and is fully funded by a federal block grant offered through the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
•NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program:
In addition to the assistance available through LIHEAP, the NIPSCO CARE
Discount Program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-eligible
customers. Once enrolled in LIHEAP, customers are automatically enrolled in
the program, and reductions range from 11 to 26 percent, depending on the
same criteria used by the state in determining the level of assistance.
•NIPSCO Hardship Program: For customers just outside the federal poverty
guidelines for LIHEAP, the NIPSCO Hardship Program offers up to $200 in gas
bill assistance to households between 151-200 percent of the federal poverty
level. Hardship funds are available through many of the same local Community
Action Agencies where LIHEAP funds are distributed.
•Gift of Warmth Program: Funded by churches, individuals and other human
service-focused organizations and matched dollar-for-dollar by NIPSCO, Gift
of Warmth offers assistance towards one bill each heating season.
•Township Trustees: A limited amount of energy assistance funds are
available through local Township Trustee offices. Last year, approximately
$1.2 million was distributed to help nearly 7,000 customers. NIPSCO
customers are encouraged to contact their local Township Trustee to see what
help is available.
•Payment Arrangements: A NIPSCO credit agreement allows you to make an
initial payment within four days of the agreement, then spread the remaining
unpaid balance over three months, plus current bills as they are due.