Utilities Assistance Program
Purpose: STEP Utilities Assistance Program works with individuals and families toward solutions for improving their quality of life, alleviating crisis situations, and assisting with making informed decisions about their futures.
Vision: The vision of the Utilities Assistance Program is for individuals and families to learn to manage their own resources and plan for their futures.
Program Overview: STEP Utilities Assistance Program partners with PPL Electric Utilities and UGI Corporation’s subsidiaries, Penn Natural Gas and Central Penn Gas. Qualified customers are offered affordable utility payments through their Customer Assistance Programs (CAP). These programs offer a reduced monthly payment as coverage for utility service, cancel a portion of any debt owed to the company, and provide energy education and weatherization services.
Utilities assistance programs include:
PPL OnTrack Program: Works with households at or below 150% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG) on establishing a fixed, affordable monthly payment plan to pay for electrical usage. The benefit PPL pays is the difference between the actual monthly bill and the OnTrack payment. Visit PPL Electric to apply. This application also provides the necessary information to determine Operation Help eligibility.
PPL’s Operation Help: NEW income and fuel type guidelines! Assists households at or below 250% of the FPIG who are experiencing unexpected hardships with paying utility bills. Also available for customers using non-electric heat sources (except for natural gas).
UGI Customer Assistance Program: Offers income-based or usage-based payment agreement with potential for shortfall forgiveness to residential customers at or below 150% of the FPIG. More information is available here; call STEP at 570.326.0587 for inquiries.
UGI’s Operation Share: Provides assistance with paying heating bills to residential customers who are faced with hardship due to an unforeseen situation, and with incomes at or below 200% of the FPIG.
Benchmarks of Success:
- Households reduce their debt by enrolling in and complying with affordable utility bill payment plans.
- Households avoid termination of utility service, or a fuel crisis through agency payments.
- 207 households experienced increased health and safety due to home improvements.
- 2,663 households improved energy efficiency and/or reduced their energy burden; 102 did so through weatherization.
- 23 households received code- compliance assistance through housing rehabilitation.
- 12 households enrolled in a STEP program obtained safe and affordable housing for 180 days; 55 maintained safe and affordable housing.
- 30 households avoided eviction or foreclosure.
- 2,563 customers enrolled in utility assistance programs to reduce their monthly costs and cure arrearages.