Company proactively notifying customers of payment plans, other tools to help manage energy bills.
GREENVILLE, S.C. – With rising summer temperatures threatening to cause even more financial hardship for people struggling to pay their energy bills, Duke Energy is connecting customers with available assistance, and offering programs and tools to help manage electric bills, including flexible payment plans.
New and existing assistance programs are currently available, all purposely designed to help those affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 or other hardships encountered over the course of 2020 and 2021.
Duke Energy is reaching out to customers who are past due through email and/or text with information about utility assistance administered by agencies in their local communities.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program/SC Stay Plus
Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds are available to help eligible residential renters pay up to 12 months of past-due rent and utility bills dating back to March 13, 2020. Complete details about the SC Stay Plus program and an online application for renters are available at schousing.com/Home/SC-Stay-Plus. Applicants may also call 800.467.0412 to start the application process. The deadline for applying for funds is Sept. 30, 2021.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
This income-based assistance program allows those earning below certain income thresholds to qualify for federal energy bill assistance money. The qualifying income thresholds are based on factors that include household income and the number of people living in your home. To learn how to qualify and apply for LIHEAP funds, visit oeo.sc.gov/liheap.html.
Assistance agency funds
Some customers may also qualify for assistance from various government and nonprofit programs for utility bills and other household expenses. Customers can learn about agencies that serve their area, by dialing 211 or visiting sc211.org online. This free service helps connect customers to local community agencies supplying aid for a wide range of needs, including help with energy bills.
Other assistance for managing utility bills
Budget Billing/Equal Payment Plan
Duke Energy’s Budget Billing option lets customers pay one predictable amount every month to better manage their budget. Monthly Budget Billing amounts are based on a customer’s annual energy costs divided into 12 equal monthly payments. The amount is periodically reviewed and adjusted. Learn more: www.duke-energy.com/home/billing/budget-billing.
Pick Your Due Date
With Pick Your Due Date, customers can choose the date they want their Duke Energy bill to be due each month. Combining Pick Your Due Date together with Budget Billing can give customers even more control over their energy bills. Learn more: www.duke-energy.com/home/billing/pick-your-due-date.
Installment plans give customers more flexibility to pay a past-due balance over a longer period. Customers can request a few extra days or restructure the past-due balance into a monthly payment plan. Customers should contact Duke Energy to discuss options available to them:
- Duke Energy Carolinas: 800.777.9898
- Duke Energy Progress: 800.452.2777
Track, manage energy usage
Energy use typically spikes in the summer since air conditioning is one of the biggest energy users in your home. Customers can also easily track and adjust their usage when temperatures are highest.
- Smart meters provide customers with daily and hourly usage information to help them better understand their energy use and take steps to save energy and money. Video here.
- Duke Energy customers with smart meters also receive usage alerts through email and/or text halfway through their billing cycle, well before their bill arrives, with their current usage amount and a projection of what their final monthly bill could be.
- Customers can also set budget alerts, so they know when their bill reaches a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to adjust their usage and help save money on their bill.
Other energy-saving programs, tips and guidance to help you manage higher energy bills that can result from increased energy use are available at Duke-Energy.com/Summer.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Ryan Mosier