NIPSCO is encouraging income-eligible customers struggling to pay their gas utility bill to apply for additional energy assistance programs available beginning December 1 through May 31. Programs such as NIPSCO Hardship, SERV (Supply Energy Resources to Veterans) and SILVER (Seniors in Indiana Low-Income and Vulnerable Energy Resource) offer a one-time benefit of up to $400 per year to those who qualify.
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 can 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.
“Our mission is to deliver safe, reliable energy that drives value for our customers,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO President. “We understand that some customers are struggling to balance expenses, and we are committed to providing financial assistance to benefit those most vulnerable this winter heating season.”
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 and NIPSCO.com/IncomeEligible. Customers can also pick-up and drop-up LIHEAP forms at the NIPSCO Business Office in Gary at 3229 Broadway between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday.
NIPSCO has expanded its 12-month flexible payment plan to allow all eligible customers that need financial support to spread their past due balance over 12-months. The three- and six-month options are also still available to customers experiencing difficulty paying their bill. Customers can learn more at NIPSCO.com/PaymentPlans.
NIPSCO provides a number of energy-efficiency programs, rebates and tips to help lower energy usage and bills. Visit NIPSCO.com/Save for more information on available programs and other ways to save.