Chesterton Tribune


Moratorium on gas disconnects to end Friday; call NIPSCO about late bills

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While the state’s winter moratorium ends March 15 for customers enrolled in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) offers a number of assistance programs, payment arrangements and energy efficiency programs to help customers with their utility bills.

During winter heating season (Dec. 1 through March 15), Indiana natural gas providers do not disconnect service to LIHEAP customers who are behind on their bills.

Households in need of bill payment assistance are urged to contact NIPSCO at (800) 464-7726 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to discuss available assistance options, 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). Applications for heating assistance will be taken through May 17.

•NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program: 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. Applications for heating assistance will be taken through May 31.

•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. Applications for Hardship assistance will be taken through May 31.

•Township Trustees: A limited amount of energy assistance funds are available through local Township Trustee offices via tax revenues. NIPSCO customers are encouraged to contact their local Township Trustee to see what help is available.

•Payment Arrangements: A NIPSCO payment arrangement allows eligible customers 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.

For more information on billing options and payment assistance, visit


Posted 3/14/2013