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PECO has expanded its various programs to help customers during the pandemic. Deposit Photos. 
PECO has expanded its various programs to help customers during the pandemic. Deposit Photos. 

How PECO has aided customers through COVID-19

Amid the pandemic, PECO has expanded resources to help customers with financial constraints maintain their bills. 

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, PECO has been very proactive in their response and approach toward providing expanded bill relief and assistance for customers most in need. 

During the onset of the economic impact of the pandemic in March 2020, PECO announced the suspension of service disconnections and waiver of new late payment charges through last summer.

In addition, PECO also took efforts in reminding customers of available resources and energy assistance programs that provide support. 

As the pandemic continues to evolve, there are approximately 340,000 residential and small business customers that are behind on their energy bill with an outstanding balance or at risk of termination. Many customers who were not eligible for financial assistance before are now eligible to participate in new or expanded programs.

Existing programs — such as Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Customer Assistance Program (CAP), Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP), the Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAF), and the Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Services (CARES) — are aimed to help low- and fixed-income customers in need through monthly credits, energy efficiency and weatherization help, as well as grants. 

The new expanded support options were designed to help customers pay down outstanding balances that may have increased during the pandemic, including options that spread payments out over five years for eligible customers. Customers who are not current on their energy bill should act now and not wait to receive a notification that they are at risk, by visiting www.peco.com/billrelief.  

"Our new payment options and financial assistance programs reflect our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve, helping everyone transition through these difficult times together,” Funmi Williamson, PECO senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer, said in a press release in August.

In July, the State of Pennsylvania launched the Rental and Utility Assistance program, where customers living in rental units and had an outstanding balance, could apply for grant funding to pay their outstanding PECO energy bill. 

While the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission partially lifted the service disconnection moratorium in November, PECO did not issue disconnection notices to any residential customers through the end of the winter season moratorium on March 31.

Instead, PECO continued to enroll as many eligible customers as possible in their expanded bill relief and customer assistance programs.

“We understand that many customers, particularly renters, continue to face financial hardships due to the pandemic,” said Funmi Williamson, in a press release in April. "We commend Governor Wolf and the legislature for enacting the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and are hopeful that this new resource, combined with PECO's many flexible payment options and financial assistance programs, will provide necessary support as our region's residents continue to transition through this difficult time.”

Since the launch of the company’s energy efficiency and conservation program in 2009, PECO customers have saved approximately $650 million in energy costs, including approximately $128 million in customer rebates and financial incentives for their energy saving actions. 

PECO customers can take advantage of these programs by enrolling through www.peco.com/billrelief

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