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Duquesne Light Company (DLC) cares about the customers we serve in the Pittsburgh area and is proud to power the moments of your lives. If you live in a low-income household or are currently experiencing hardship and wonder how you will pay your bill, we want you to know we are here to help.
DLC and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) have multiple payment assistance options for qualifying residents. Browse through this list of resources to see what best meets your needs.
PUC Utility Assistance Programs
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission requires and ensures that utilities have programs and protections that help limited-income customers keep their utility service. Utility companies might call their programs by a different name than what PUC has in this list. But they should offer the following energy assistance options.
- Budget Billing – All residential customers can enroll in this program from their natural gas or electric provider. The system reviews your usage over the past 12 months and provides a monthly average payment, so your bill is the same each month. The utility can raise or lower this average four times a year upon evaluating your usage.
- Customer Assistance Program (CAP) – If a customer is struggling to pay their bill, they can work with the utility company to structure payments based on the number of people in the house and the gross household income.
- Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Program (CARES) – The CARES program assists customers with special needs. Special needs include customers dealing with family emergencies, divorce, unemployment, and medical emergencies. The program aims to help customers pay their bills.
- Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIRUP) – Limited-income customers work with the utility company to lower their monthly electricity and natural gas usage. Sometimes, a utility might weatherize or install energy-saving features in a customer’s home to lower their bill.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) administers the federal LIHEAP program. It helps income-qualifying households pay energy bills. The program offers help via cash benefits, crisis assistance, and weatherizing the home to lower energy usage.
- Hardship Funds – Utility company hardship funds provide cash assistance to qualifying customers to help pay their energy bills.
PUC also details protections that are in place for consumers regarding their choice of energy service provider, power shut-off guidelines, filing complaints against utility providers, and further assistance in the informative PA Energy Consumer Bill of Rights document.
DLC Payment Assistance Options
If you face challenges paying your bill, DLC is ready and willing to help. It offers the following payment assistance options to qualifying customers.
If you can’t pay your bill, you can pay your balance in monthly installments via a payment arrangement. DLC bills the monthly installments along with your current monthly bill, and you must pay both on time and in full monthly. You can set up the arrangements with a DLC representative, or if you’re an active residential customer, you can use the online payment arrangement portal.
To learn more about this option, read the FAQ section.
Customer Assistance Program (CAP)
DLC assists low-income customers who are struggling to pay their bills by creating a continuous, affordable monthly payment via our CAP program. Program benefits for qualifying customers include:
- Reduced monthly payments
- Debt forgiveness upon meeting CAP agreement terms
- Information about decreasing your electric use
- Security deposit waiver, if applicable
- Access to local CAP experts
- Other community resources referral
You can apply for CAP assistance online, and a CAP Case Manager will contact you within three business days.
Dollar Energy Fund
The Dollar Energy Fund awards grants to customers experiencing hardship paying their utility bills. You must meet federal income guidelines and additional requirements. Customers who are at or below 150% of the Federal Income Poverty Guidelines must apply for LIHEAP assistance before applying for the Dollar Energy Fund.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administers the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This federal program helps eligible low-income households pay some heating energy costs. The LIHEAP application period runs from Nov. 1, 2023, to April 5, 2024. Apply online via this LIHEAP application.
Suppose you experience an emergency hardship and have lost income due to an injury, illness, or death of your household’s primary wage earner. In that case, DLC offers payment-challenged and special needs customers payment assistance and social service support under our Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Service (CARES) program.
A CARES representative may visit your home and discuss program benefits that may help you during your hardship. Some program referrals might include the Dollar Energy Fund, Housing Assistance, Rehabilitation services, transportation, information about reducing your energy usage and other DLC programs.
To determine if you qualify for CARES assistance, call DLC’s Universal Services Center at 1-888-393-7600.
If you or a member of your household are seriously ill or have a medical condition that will worsen if you don’t have electricity, service disconnection may be postponed if you fall behind on your bill. You must complete, and DLC must accept our Medical Certificate. If you qualify, service disconnection or electric service restoration is good for a maximum of 30 days.
Other Types of Low-Income Assistance
DLC offers other types of assistance for qualifying low-income households to help reduce monthly energy consumption. They include our free Income Eligible Energy Assessment and free home improvement help from experts in our Home Weatherization program.
We also provide free, fast assistance to income-eligible homeowners in an unsafe electrical situation via our Emergency Repair Program.
When customers face unexpected emergencies and financial difficulties, DLC is always there to help. If you need help paying your bill, DLC encourages you to take advantage of these payment assistance options and programs to get the support you need.