As cold weather sets in every fall, our Customer Relations team at Peoples kicks into high gear. They begin an active outreach campaign to educate customers about the programs and resources that are available, to encourage those customers to apply, and even to help them through the application process. This team uses an integrated approach to reach as many customers as possible, including print and traditional media, on-site advertising, digital marketing, and social media.
In addition to programs like LIHEAP and Dollar Energy Fund, Peoples makes several other programs available to help our customers. Through the Peoples’ Customer Assistance Program (CAP), for example, we provide participants with affordable, monthly, long-term bill payment plans so they can maintain their gas service. Through CAP, payments are based on income, not gas usage, allowing customers to receive the services they need at a price they can afford.
Peoples also offers a Budget Billing option for all customers, which averages out a customer’s gas usage over 12 months and multiplies it by the current gas rate, giving a customer a predictable, affordable monthly payment without spikes in the winter.
For qualifying customers, we can also enroll them in our Usage Reduction Program, or “weatherization.” We help these customers make their homes more energy efficient by doing things like attic and wall caulking, adding insulation, and weather-stripping windows and doors. For homeowners facing extremely difficult situations, we can also offer an Emergency Furnace / Line Repair Assistance.
During the 2018-2019 winter season, we were able to help our customers with the following programs:
- Dollar Energy Fund Grants: 2,632
- LIHEAP Participants: 30,599
- LIHEAP Crisis Participants: 5,847
- Peoples Customer Assistance Program (CAP) Enrollment: 208,781
- Referrals to PA 2-1-1 Southwest from Peoples’ Customer Service Center: 3,616
There’s a common thread that ties all of these programs together, and that is our strong relationship with partners like the United Way and PA 2-1-1 Southwest. With the guidance and resources of our partners, we can work to ensure that our customers have holistic solutions to help them overcome any challenges they might have, not just utility assistance.
At Peoples, we’re here to make gas more affordable for those customers who need a little extra help, especially during colder months. Thanks to the support, expertise, and insight of such dedicated partners like PA 2-1-1 Southwest, our team was able to help thousands of customers stay safe and warm this winter.