Where To Call?
You may directly ask about and apply for Equitable’s Low Income Programs by calling Equitable at 1-877-577-8735.
What Are The Names Of Equitable’s Programs?
- CAP (Customer Assistance Program)
- LIURP (Low income Usage Reduction Program)
- CARES (Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Service)
- Dollar Energy Fund – Hardship Fund
How Can These Programs Benefit Me?
- CAP lowers your monthly bill based on the amount of your household income.
- LIURP helps reduce household gas use resulting in lower bills.
- CARES connects you to local social service agencies that can help you.
- Dollar Energy Fund hardship fund provides grants to stop shut-off or to reconnect service.
What are the actual benefits I can get in CAP?
Reduced monthly payments:
- As a CAP customer, you will receive a sizeable discount on your ongoing gas usage. Your new CAP bill will be based on your income level, rather than your actual gas usage. This will lead to significant savings on your bill.
Freezing past debt:
- If you were not enrolled in the CAP program in the past, then when you enroll, your past debt will be frozen. This means that as long as you make your CAP payments on time and in full, Equitable will not make collections on that past due amount and no fees will be applied against the debt.
- If you are removed from the CAP program for failing to pay your CAP bill in full and on time, then Equitable may begin collection on this amount.
Forgiving past debt:
- If you pay your CAP bill in full and on time each month and pay a $5 co-pay each month, Equitable will forgive your past debt over 4 years.
How do I know if I am eligible for CAP?
You are eligible for CAP if:
- You have household income at or below 150% of the Federal poverty income guidelines (click here for a table with the Federal poverty income guidelines);
- You use gas to heat your home; and
- You agree to allow Equitable to include you in a gas pooling arrangement for low income customers.
What are my responsibilities to get into and stay in CAP?
- You must contact Equitable to apply for CAP.
- You must fill out an application and verify your income.
- You must pay your CAP bill on time and in full each month.
- If you have a frozen debt, you must pay a $5 co-pay until your debt is totally forgiven.
Can I be removed from CAP?
- Yes, you may be removed from CAP if you miss two CAP payments.
- If your household income increases above the eligibility guidelines, or you do not provide the requested annual income information, or you do not comply with program guidelines, then you may be removed from the program.
- If you use too much gas, then you may be removed from the program. Usage is limited to 110% of historical usage, which means you can not use more than 10% more gas now that you are in CAP then you did the year before you were in CAP.
Can I get back into CAP if I am removed from the program?
- Yes. To get back into CAP, you must pay all of the CAP bills you missed.
- If your service has been terminated in addition to being removed from CAP, Equitable may require additional payments prior to reconnection, such as security deposits and reconnection fees.
What is LIURP?
Equitable’ LIURP program helps households with high gas use levels conserve energy and reduce monthly energy bills.
How can I qualify for LIURP?
- You must use gas to heat your home and have lived there for at least 1 year.
- You qualify if you have a household income at or below 150% the Federal poverty income guidelines OR if your household income is at or below 200% of the Federal poverty income guidelines and you have special needs. (click here for a table with the Federal poverty income guidelines).
- Renters or homeowners may qualify.
- You must also have higher than average gas use and an outstanding balance of at least $750.
What are the actual benefits of LIURP?
- By participating in LIURP, you may reduce the amount of energy you use each month. This will most likely result in lower monthly bills.
- By participating in LIURP, you will receive a free home energy usage review, education to help you learn how to reduce your energy use, and the installation of energy conservation measures (e.g., attic and sidewall insulation, gas heating system repairs and/or replacements).
What are my responsibilities as a LIURP participant?
- To receive services, you must agree to submit verification of your household income as part of the application process.
- As a participant, you must agree to allow a utility employee (or subcontractor) inspect your residence and perform an energy audit.
- You must also agree to allow a utility employee (or subcontractor) to inspect your residence one year after the conservation measures are installed. This allows the utility to determine if the conservation measures have been cost effective and helped you to reduce your energy consumption.
Equitable’ CARES program helps customers unable to pay their gas bills due to a temporary hardship. The CARES program connects customers with resources located in their own community. These community resources then help the customer manage his/her problems.
How do I qualify for CARES?
- To qualify for Equitable’s CARES you must be 60 years old or older, have special needs, and have household income at or below 150% of the Federal poverty income guidelines (click here for a table with the Federal poverty income guidelines).
What are the benefits to me of participating in CARES?
- Participants in CARES can receive free referrals to assistance agencies in the local community, such as a nonprofit organization or social service agency.
- Participants in CARES can receive referrals to other Equitable’ Universal Services programs.
- Participants in CARES may receive special payment arrangements depending on their payment history and on their specific situation.
Equitable’s Dollar Energy Hardship Fund program provides customers with cash assistance to help pay down their outstanding balances. This program is operated by Dollar Energy Fund, a nonprofit partner of Equitable.
What are the benefits of applying for a Dollar Energy grant?
- If you qualify, you may receive up to $500 toward the payment of your past due utility debt.
When can I request a grant from Dollar Energy Fund?
- From October to February, only customers whose service is off can apply for a grant.
- March through September, any customer may apply for a grant.
How do I qualify for a Dollar Energy Hardship grant?
If you are below 62 years of age:
- You must have household income at or below 200% of the Federal poverty income guidelines (click here for a table with the Federal poverty income guidelines);
- You must have paid at least $150 toward your bill over the past 90 days;
- You must have more than $100 as a past due balance.
If you are 62 years or older:
- You must have household income at or below 200% of the Federal poverty income guidelines (click here for a table with the Federal poverty income guidelines), and
- You must have paid at least $100 toward your bill over the past 90 days.
- If you qualify to receive a LIHEAP grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, then you must apply for one before you can apply for a Dollar Energy Fund grant.