Last Updated on December 4, 2023 by NIPSCO
Beginning December 1, income-eligible customers, seniors, active military and veterans experiencing financial difficulty paying their gas utility bill may apply for additional NIPSCO energy assistance programs. Available programs include NIPSCO Hardship, SERV (Supply Energy Resources to Veterans) and SILVER (Seniors in Indiana Low-Income and Vulnerable Energy Resource) that will allow customers to receive a one-time benefit of up to $400 per year if they qualify. The programs are open now through May 31, 2024.
“We recognize that NIPSCO natural gas residential customers may see an estimated 24 percent decline in their winter heating bills this season in contrast to last year due to lower market prices,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO President. “While this will be a help to many, we understand that some may still have trouble paying their bills. We’re making these programs available to provide further energy assistance to our most vulnerable customers this winter season.”
SERV is an income-eligible assistance program available for active military and eligible veteran NIPSCO customers who need financial assistance with gas residential utility charges. To participate, customers must be an active member of the United States Armed Forces or a former member honorably discharged, with an active NIPSCO residential gas utility account that is past due.
SILVER is an income-eligible assistance program available for NIPSCO’s senior citizen customers 60 years of age or older who need financial assistance with gas residential utility charges. Eligible senior citizens must have an active NIPSCO residential gas utility account that is past due.
The SERV and SILVER programs are earmarked for those who qualify for LIHEAP or Hardship assistance.
To see the full list of requirements for SERV and SILVER, customers should visit NIPSCO.com/IncomeEligible. There, customers may also apply for the appropriate program by completing and submitting an online self-attestation form and uploading documentation, if required. Applicants should allow 30 business days for the form to be received and processed. If program requirements are met, a one-time credit will be applied to the applicant’s NIPSCO gas residential utility account.
The NIPSCO Hardship Program is for customers just outside the federal poverty guidelines for LIHEAP. It offers up to $400 in gas bill assistance to households between 151 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level. Hardship funds are available through many of the same local Community Action Agencies where LIHEAP funds are distributed. To learn more about NIPSCO Hardship, visit NIPSCO.com/IncomeEligible.
NIPSCO Hardship, SILVER and SERV programs will run from December 1 through May 31, or until funds are exhausted.
It is recommended that customers determine their eligibility and apply for these programs as soon as possible and spread the word to their family, neighbors and friends who might also qualify.
Additional NIPSCO Energy Assistance Programs
LIHEAP offers support to households falling at or below 60 percent of the state median income and is fully funded by a federal block grant offered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Customers can learn if they qualify for LIHEAP by visiting eap.ihcda.in.gov, calling 2-1-1 or by using the NIPSCO eligibility calculator at NIPSCO.com/IncomeEligible.
In addition to the assistance available through LIHEAP, the NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential (CARE) discount program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-approved customers. Once enrolled in LIHEAP, customers are automatically enrolled in the program, and reductions range from 11 to 26 percent, depending on the same criteria used by the state in determining the level of assistance.
NIPSCO has also expanded its payment plan agreements to offer its most flexible payment plans to customers that need financial support, including three-, six- and 12-month plans. Customers can learn more and enroll at NIPSCO.com/PaymentPlans.
The NIPSCO Budget Plan is a free service to all NIPSCO customers to help manage their monthly energy bills by spreading out gas costs over an entire year. Learn more at NIPSCO.com/budget.
NIPSCO offers energy-efficiency programs to help manage usage and, in turn, bills. A full list of programs, rebates, and tips available to NIPSCO customers can be found at NIPSCO.com/SaveEnergy.
SOURCE: News release from NIPSCO