Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides financial assistance for housing-related expenses, including paying rent and avoiding eviction. The current program is renters, but the program for homeowners is expected to start in September 2023. Residents can begin the application process at www.compass.state.pa.us. Landlords can contact Community Action at 724 437 6050 on behalf of tenants, but tenants must be willing to participate and currently occupy the rental unit. For more information and full list of requirements, www.dhs.pa.gov
The Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP): Helps residential customers maintain electric service and/or eliminate their past-due balance, PCAP participants are automatically enrolled in the Equal Payment Plan (EPP)-- a budget plan that allows customers to make consistent monthly payments. Customers receive monthly credits to reduce the EPP amount and/or forgiveness credits, which help eliminate the past-due balance at initial enrollment. While payment is not required to re-enroll, if you are a previous PCAP recipient, Dollar Energy Fund (the program administrator), can estimate the amount that would be due at re-enrollment. For enrollment information, call 1 888 282 6816, or to apply online, visit dollarenergy.org/myapp
Dollar Energy Fund: An emergency hardship fund designed to help residential customers restore or maintain electric service. Eligible customers may receive up to $500 while funds are available. Program funding is provided by FirstEnergy customers, company employees, FirstEnergy shareholders and other sources. The distribution of funds is administered by Dollar Energy Fund. For information, call 1 888 282 6816 or visit www.dollarenergy.org
2-1-1 Helpline: A nationwide resource and information helpline that will identify programs in your area that may assist you or someone you know with utility bills or other needs. For more information, call 222, visit www.211.org or text your ZIP code to 898211.
Income eligible customers also can reduce their electric bills by making their homes more energy efficient by participating in the WARM Program. This program is available to homeowners and renters with landlord approval. Participants receive an in-home energy evaluation; work with a trained energy educator to create an energy-savings plan and can receive energy-saving light bulbs; caulking and weather-stripping installed in their home, electric water heater inspections and refrigerator/freezer testing and possible replacement. There are household income requirements and electricity use requirements. For more information, customer can call Dollar Energy Fund at 1 888 2626 6816 or apply online at www.energysavepa.com
First Energy's PA residential customers also can manage their electric bills through the Equal Payment Plan (EPP). With EPP, customers can make consistent monthly payments to avoid seasonal highs and lows in their electric bills.
To apply or learn more about other utility bill assistance programs, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist and click on "Search Assistance Programs." Residents are also encouraged to contact their utility's customer service team at 1800 686 0021 (West Penn Power)
1/4/22 Pennsylvania launches new water assistance program:
Assistance is available for those with past due bills, those who have had their service terminated or will have it terminated in the next 60 days. A family of four with an annual income of $39,750 would be eligible for the grant. You will need to provide personal information of all people in the household, proof of income and a recent water bill. More information is at www.dhs.pa.gov/waterhelp
10/13/21 Free Trade Training offered by Private Industry Council:
Individuals ages 18 to 24 may be eligible for free training where they can gain skills for the construction, electrical and landscaping trades. Classes will be held in Uniontown from mid-November and in the spring. A daily training stipend to assist with transportation and meals along with 190 hours of hands-on paid work experience is included. For more information call 724 836 2600 or visit: www.privateindustrycouncil.com