Help With Your Electric Bill

If you’ve faced a sudden loss of income, you may find it difficult to pay your electricity bill. The good news is there are a number of home energy assistance programs to help keep your lights on during these times.

Read on to learn more about the various forms of utility available when you need help with your electric bill.

How do I get emergency help with my electric bill?

No one plans on having an emergency, but sometimes they happen. If you're in a financial bind and need help with electric bill costs, don't worry - there are options available to you for financial assistance.

Contact the utility company

The first thing to do is call your utility company as soon as you realize you may not be able to pay your bill. They may be able to work with you to come up with an affordable payment plan. Chances are they'll understand your situation and offer solutions even if you're struggling to make your payment.

Be sure to write down the date and time when you called them, the name and job title of the person you spoke to, and what exactly they agreed to (dollar amounts, dates, etc.). If possible, get an email confirmation of this information. Keep these notes in a safe place where they won’t be lost in case you need to refer to them later.

Call your utility provider with regular updates as you’re waiting to receive energy bill assistance. That way, you keep the lines of communication open and they know the current status of your situation.

Ask about utility company relief programs

Many utility companies have created special energy assistance programs for eligible customers who need help with their electric bills.

JEA in Florida, for example, credited customer accounts during COVID, which allowed them to save up to $25 per month on electricity. Tacoma Public Utilities in Washington offered a similar emergency bill credit to customers in need.

It’s a good idea to visit your utility company’s website or give them a call to find out if they have a home energy assistance program for residential customers.

Research Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP is a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Human Services that supports approximately 6 million low-income households each year with utility bill assistance.

If you qualify, LIHEAP can send money directly to your utility company to cover a portion of your bill. They can also help you improve the energy efficiency of your home by sealing doors or windows, installing insulation, or fixing a broken air conditioner or furnace. Since each state receives a different amount of government funding for social services, your location, as well as your household income and size, will dictate whether you’re eligible.

Request charity aid

Charitable organizations can provide you with the temporary financial relief you need to keep your utilities running. These nonprofits have funds set aside to support people who are experiencing financial hardship, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

Salvation Army, Jewish Federation of North America, Catholic Charities, and Love Inc. are several examples of national organizations that have utility assistance programs created to assist those facing shutoffs. You can contact these organizations directly to see how they can help you pay your bill on time.

Look into short-term loan options

If there aren’t hardship programs or charitable resources available in your area, you may be able to get a short-term loan to quickly cover overdue bills. Short-term loans can be a good financial solution to keep you from falling behind on your utilities or having your electric service disconnected.

One type of short-term loan that can help you pay your electric bill is a cash advance. Also known as a payday loan, a cash advance is a small-dollar loan that bridges the financial gap between paydays. As the name implies, you’ll pay back your loan when you get your next paycheck. The amount that you may borrow for this type of loan is determined by how much income you earn and the regulations in your state.

For over 25 years, Advance America has proudly served our hardworking customers with helpful personal loan options. Whether you apply online or in-store, we combine a 4.8-star Trustpilot customer service rating with a simple application and instant approval decisions to make the process seamless. Once approved, you’ll receive money by the following business day.

Make an effort to reduce your electricity bill The lower your electricity bill is, the easier it’ll be for you to pay for it. So, try to do what you can to reduce it as much as possible, such as:

  • Wash and dry dishes by hand.
  • Clean your HVAC filters on a regular basis.
  • Turn off the lights when you’re not using them.

You can also plan to save toward longer-term energy-efficient items like a programmable thermostat or better home insulation. Look into a Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to see if you meet the income qualifications to receive funds for home improvements to help reduce your utility expenses.

By following these easy tips, you’ll keep your electricity costs more affordable.

Why is my electric bill so high?

If you're wondering why your electric bill seems so high, a few things could be causing the issue. One possibility is that your home is not very energy efficient. For example, if your windows and doors aren't properly sealed, you may be losing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, which can drive up your energy costs.

Another possibility is that you're using more electricity than usual. Making your home more energy-efficient can be an excellent long-term financial solution, while being mindful of your daily electricity usage can help in the short term.

How can I save on my electric bill?

You can save money on your electric bill by making minor changes in how you use energy in your home. Whether you're looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint or just want to find some easy ways to save money, these 5 easy tips can help you reduce your electric bill without much effort.

1. Get energy-efficient light bulbs

LED bulbs use about 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. They can also last up to 25 times longer! Not only can swapping out your lightbulbs help you save on your electric bill, but you may also save money in the future by not having to replace your bulbs as often.

2. Change your air filters often

A dirty air filter makes your AC unit work harder, which uses more energy and drives up utility costs. Many filters need changing every 1 to 3 months, so remember to check and replace yours regularly.

3. Turn off the lights

When you're not using a particular light, make sure to turn it off so you're not wasting electricity. This simple habit can go a long way in reducing your overall energy usage and costs.

4. Seal air leaks

Homes can be full of tiny air leaks that allow cool air to escape and warm air to seep in, making your AC unit work overtime. To prevent this, seal any cracks or gaps around your doors and windows. You might also want to invest in weather stripping or caulking to prevent air leakage.

5. Switch to a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you money by automatically raising or lowering the temperature when you're not home. In the winter, set it a few degrees lower when you're sleeping or at work to reduce heating costs. During the summer, do the opposite by setting the temperature a few degrees higher when everyone is out of the house.

What if my electricity is disconnected?

Don’t panic — there are several steps you can take to get your electricity turned back on.

First, contact your electric company and let them know about the service interruption. They may explain why your electricity was disconnected and what your options are for restoring it. Depending on the situation, this could involve catching up on unpaid bills or fixing a faulty meter. If necessary, you may be able to arrange a payment plan to ensure that you pay all future bills on time.

In addition, consider reaching out to local resources for assistance with paying overdue energy bills, such as government aid programs or nonprofit organizations that help low-income residents. Ask them what the requirements are for eligible households to see if you qualify for assistance.

By taking these steps and communicating with your electricity provider, you might quickly address any issues and restore your power.

Advance America can help with your electric bill

We offer a range of emergency financial solutions, including payday loans and installment loans, that can provide you with the money you need right away. Applying for a loan is quick and easy, and you don’t need perfect credit to be approved. In fact, you could receive your money the same day you’re approved!

Whenever you need help with your utility bills, Advance America is here. Visit us in-store or fill out an online application to get the money you need today!

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