The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many families hard, with millions of Americans losing their jobs and millions others having their hours reduced. In these uncertain times, it’s difficult to make ends meet. But when it comes to power bills, there are some benefits that you can take advantage of if needed.
In June, your elected Georgia Public Service Commissioners voted to resume power shut offs for people who cannot keep up with their bills. Up until July 15, customers struggling with bills were invited to enroll in a special payment plan with Georgia Power. The details of this program included paying past-due balances accumulated over the months in a six month period between October 2020 and March 2021 with no late fees added onto the balance.
Unfortunately, many families and customers have missed this window. Thankfully, there are several programs and nonprofits that may be able to provide help to those that require additional financial assistance:
- Georgia Power’s Prepay Program allows you to pay as you go with your PrePay account. As you use electricity, your balance is reduced. This flexibility allows you to better manage your budget and energy usage.
- Georgia Power offers a FlatBill program, which allows you to pay a 12-month fixed price that does not fluctuate when your power usage does. They also have Budget Billing which averages the highs and lows of your electric bills and gives you an average price to pay each month.
- Georgia Power’s Senior Citizen Discount gives customers that are 65 or older and meet income requirements up to $24 off their monthly bills.
- The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a Federal Government program which can help qualifying low-income families pay their energy bills. The program is managed by the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services and is available every year from November to May.
- The Salvation Army’s Project SHARE provides “emergency bill-payment assistance to individuals and families facing a temporary crisis that threatens their home.” ast year, Project SHARE provided assistance to more than 50,000 Georgians. If you would like to apply, call 1.800.25SHARE. They take calls for assistance from 9-10 a.m. local time on Wednesday mornings. You can also try calling your power company’s customer service number.
- The Heating Energy Assistance Team distributes energy assistance funds to needy families. For more information call 404.656.6696 or your local Community Action Agency.
- The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority distributes funds for weatherization assistance through Community Action Agencies for the repair or renovation of homes of low-income residents to make them more energy efficient. For more information call 404.656.3826 or contact your local Community Action Agency.
If you’re struggling with paying for energy bills, don’t struggle alone. Check out the resources available and see if you can get aid to help with your problems today.
Make no mistake: your power bills are getting higher thanks to the votes of your Public Service Commissioners. Learn more about that at psc.gcvoters.org