The Northern Indiana Public Service Company has several assistance programs for its low income customers. If you are facing a shut off, the energy company will always recommend that you call them. However, there are other programs that can help, including the Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) program, the NIPSCO Hardship Program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and one-time payment arrangements. For more information on these services, please see the descriptions below.
The NIPSCO Hardship Program is a resource for people who have received a disconnection or shut off notice. The utility company can provide energy and utility bill assistance for those low to moderate customers who are no more than 200 percent of the federal government poverty income level. During the winter months of December to May, applicants can usually get up to $200 from the government to help pay their bills. Many of the same agencies that distribute funds for LIHEAP also offer hardship funds and cash assistance.
The CARE program from NIPSCO can help you save money on your energy bill. This resource provides financial assistance to qualified applicants in the form of bill reductions and credits. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a government program that helps low-income families pay for their home energy bills. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a program that helps low-income families make their homes more energy efficient. If someone is approved for LIHEAP benefits, they will also be enrolled in the CARE program. This program can help save them up to 26% on their bills. The amount of the reduction will be determined by the same criteria used by the state of Indiana to determine the level of assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A customer will receive a discount on their monthly heating bill from December through May.
Payment plans may be available. If you owe NIPSCO money, you can sign a payment agreement that requires you to pay part of your bill within four days. They can then pay the remaining balance on their account over three months. They still need to pay their current bills as they are due.
The company will set the terms of the agreement and customers can choose how much they want to pay as their initial payment, but it can’t be less than a set amount. The customer may choose to pay the remaining unpaid balance on their account in installments that are spread out over a week, month, or two weeks. Both parties agree to a monthly payment plan, where the customer can choose a due date that best suits their budget or income.
The Gift of Warmth Program is a financial assistance program that relies on donations and contributions from the community. If an applicant meets eligibility requirements and guidelines, they could receive energy bill assistance through NIPSCO’s Gift of Warmth (GOW) program. If you need help paying your energy bills, there are emergency funds and grants available. You can only apply for and receive this help once per year, regardless of whether you use electricity or gas as your primary heat source. The GOW matching funds program provides money to non-profit agencies such as the Salvation Army to help those in need.
Government assistance for NIPSCO customers
The federal government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides cash grants to very low-income customers who meet certain poverty guidelines. If you have a low income and meet other qualifications, you may be able to get help from the government to pay your utility bills. Community Action Agencies work with other social service and outreach organizations in the counties served by Northern Indiana Public Service. The program can provide money to help with both summer cooling costs as well as winter heating bills.
State law requires Indiana town trustees to do something. Your township trustee may be able to help working poor and qualified individuals with bills. The amount of money that trustees receive comes from the taxes people pay every year.
If you are in danger of having your power disconnected or have received a notice that your power will be shut off, call NIPSCO at 1-800-464-7726. The sooner you reach out to them, the better your chances are of getting what you want.