As you are aware, the pandemic-related moratorium for nonpayment will end March 31, 2021, and FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities will resume collection activities, including disconnections, on April 1, 2021. FirstEnergy has been and remains committed to helping customers who are facing economic hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, and continues to encourage customers who are having difficulty making ends meet to contact their utility to enroll in payment plans or apply for bill assistance programs. We certainly appreciate what you and your office are doing to assist the community during this difficult time, and we will make every effort to help support the application process.
· In Pennsylvania, the pandemic-related moratorium for nonpayment for residential customers at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will end March 31, 2021. FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities will resume collection activities for these customers, including disconnections, on April 1, 2021. Disconnections for nonpayment of all other customer groups started mid-December 2020.
· We will make good faith efforts to reach all customers at risk of a shutoff for nonpayment via mail, email, phone and in person in some cases. Customers will receive a 10 day disconnect notice on or after April 1 depending on their billing cycle, and all affected customers will be notified in time to contact us to make a payment plan or apply for assistance.
· Customer payment plans will adhere to the following guidelines:
o Residential customers below 250% of the FPL will be offered payment arrangements with a length of 5 years;
o Residential customers with incomes between 250% and 300% of FPL will be offered payment arrangements with a length of 2 years;
o Residential customers with incomes over 300% of FPL will be offered payment arrangements with a length of 1 year;
o Small business customers will be offered payment arrangements with a length of 18 months;
o Customers may agree to or request a shorter payment arrangement.
· In addition to an ongoing email campaign encouraging customers to apply for assistance, FirstEnergy is preparing a news release detailing available assistance and payment plans that will be distributed across Pennsylvania before April 1.
o Among the programs promoted in the news release is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which assists renters who are having trouble making ends meet with rental or utility costs or arrearages and other related housing expenses. Pennsylvanians can apply for the program online at www.compass.state.pa.us.
· Our social media accounts regularly emphasize that assistance and payment plans are available and encourage customers to contact the company as soon as they experience trouble paying their bill for the greatest number of options to avoid disconnection.
· Information about FirstEnergy response to the coronavirus pandemic, including frequently asked billing questions and links to various assistance programs, is available on the company’s website at www.firstenergycorp.com.
· Pennsylvania customers who are concerned about their electricity bill should visit us online at www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist or call their local utility to speak with a customer service representative:
o Met-Ed 1-800-545-7741
o Penelec 1-800-545-7741
o Penn Power 1-800-720-3600
o West Penn Power 1-800-686-0021