In addition to using conservation measures, consumers can take advantage of budget billing or average monthly payment options to offset the cost of increased energy usage for cooling during the summer and heating during the winter.
Budget billing is a program offered by West Virginia’s electric and natural gas utility companies that spreads out the cost of energy used during high-demand times of the year. Instead of seeing an increase in winter heating bills or summer cooling bills, budget billing averages total yearly usage into manageable monthly bills.
Upon your request, your utility company will review your usage history. Based on that information and expected energy prices, the company will determine your monthly budget amount. You will pay that amount throughout the budget billing period, which usually runs for 12 months.
At the end of the budget period the company will review your actual usage. Depending on your utility company, one of two things will happen:
More information is available at: http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/bcf/Services/familyassistance/Pages/Utility-Assistance.aspx.
Lifeline is a program that offers eligible low-income consumers a discount on their monthly local telephone bill for basic telephone services.
More information is available at: http://www.psc.state.wv.us/LifeLine/default.htm.
West Virginia 2-1-1 keeps an accurate and comprehensive database where you can find hundreds of services, including 24-hour counseling, suicide prevention, community information and many forms of assistance to meet your needs. It will allow you to browse and research by types of assistance, geographic area and other criteria.
For more information dial “211” or log on to: http://www.wv211.org/.