Federal and state government agencies and utility companies recognize that at times some customers experience problems meeting their utility bill payments. Universal Services Programs in Pennsylvania are available for those in need to gain access to affordable energy. Through Universal Services Programs, the government and utility companies assist eligible payment-troubled customers on limited or fixed incomes to:
- Establish affordable payment arrangements to maintain utility service.
- Obtain grants and assistance from community-based organizations.
- Guide customers toward self-sufficiency in paying their bills.
- Reduce the utility consumption to a more affordable level through effective conservation measures.
Various Universal Services Programs are available to customers throughout Pennsylvania. Brief general descriptions and eligibility requirements of some of the common programs are provided in the links below.
Contact your local County Assistance Office as well as your energy suppliers (electricity company and heating fuel company) as soon as possible to identify all the Universal Services Programs that are available in your region and the specific eligibility requirements for each program. You may also contact the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare at 1-800-692-7462 or, for the hearing impaired, TTY 1-800-451-5886.
The Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES) program provides personalized assistance on a short-term basis to payment-troubled residential customers.
also known as Dollar Energy Fund, $1 Energy Fund, Fuel Fund, and Neighbor for Neighbor Fund
also known as Smart Comfort and Weatherization Assistance)