December 17, 2008

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PPL reconnects customers, heading into winter

ALLENTOWN - All PPL Electric Utilities residential customers will head into winter with electricity service this year. The company has reconnected all occupied households before winter in the 10,000-square-mile area it serves.

“Each fall, we reach out to customers who are without electric service to arrange for reconnections before winter arrives,” said David G. DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities. “We send letters, call customers and visit homes to work out payment arrangements and let those with financial hardships know that help is available.”

PPL Electric Utilities has always considered shutting off electric service as a last resort when all other efforts to collect overdue bills have not worked, he said. And the company places special emphasis on reconnecting all residential customers at this time of year. Every December, PPL Electric Utilities reports data on reconnections and customers without electric service to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

DeCampli said PPL Electric Utilities offers programs that provide everything from direct financial assistance with electric bills to home weatherization and conservation services. The company was one of the first electric utilities in the country to offer a payment assistance fund. Spending on programs for low-income customers this year will top $30 million.

More help is also available through the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Pennsylvania raised the income guidelines for LIHEAP this winter, making more customers eligible. LIHEAP provides cash grants to help with heating bills and crisis assistance to help with emergencies, like heating equipment breakdowns.

Customers don’t need overdue bills to qualify for LIHEAP. They only need to meet the program’s income guidelines — less than $44,443 for a family of four. Applications are available from county assistance offices.

DeCampli said customers can also support neighbors in need by contributing to PPL Electric Utilities’ Operation HELP program. To make a donation, interested customers can click here or watch for a special insert included with their December electric bills.


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