Energy Assistance Options
There are several programs available for members who are having difficulty paying their electric bills including Family Fund and LIHEAP.
As of April 15, 2020 a one-time grant is available to CEC members in need who reside full-time in a home served by CEC. Members who qualify will receive a credit (up to $500) on their electric bill, calculated by adding the last two electric bills and applying a credit for the total up to $500.
- Member must be, or have been, adversely affected due to COVID-19.
- Must be a CEC member of two or more years.
- The CEC electric account must have been in a current status at least once in the past two years.
- There has to have been a payment made to the account within the past two months, prior to application.
- Must pay a co-pay of half of the account’s average electric bill prior to receiving the grant. For example, if the average bill for the account in question is $100 the member will be required to pay a $50 co-pay.
- The account cannot have been disconnected for non-payment in the past 12 months.
- There cannot be any record of electric service theft or meter tampering at the service location while in the current member’s name.
- Any previous payment arrangements made for the account must have been satisfied as discussed.
If some (or all) of the above qualifications are not met and you are able to provide documentation of extenuating circumstances, CEC reserves the right to forgo any or all of the predetermined qualifications for grant approval.
Click here to complete the application for the COVID-19 Hardship Grant.
Click here for a printable version of the application for the COVID-19 Hardship Grant.
Family Fund assists families-in-need or individuals who have their permanent residence on CEC lines. Funds are raised from unclaimed capital credits and donations from members and employees.
You can apply for Family Fund at the following agency in your county of residence or contact our office directly at 800-521-0570.
- Allegheny County – Department of Human Services: 412-350-3911
- Armstrong County – Community Action Office: 724-548-3408
- Butler County – The Salvation Army: 724-287-5532
- Clarion County – Charitable Deeds: 814-797-0286
- Forest County – Information & Referral Service: 814-927-8266
- Venango County – Community Support Services (CSS): 814-432-9763
- Applicant must have been a CEC member for at least six months.
- Applicant must have been eligible for Low Income Energy Assistance.
- Applicant must have received a current disconnection notice.
If the applicants LIHEAP monies have gone to a utility other than CEC, a copy of the qualifying letter from the agency must be received by our office.
LIHEAP is a federal program administered by the State Department of Public Welfare and assists low-income families with their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant and you do not have to be on public assistance to qualify.
LIHEAP programs become available beginning in November. To learn more about LIHEAP or apply call 866-857-7095 or click here. You may also contact your county assistance office at the phone number below.
- Allegheny County – 877-395-8930
- Armstrong County – 800-424-5235
- Butler County – 866-256-0093
- Clarion County – 800-253-3488
- Forest County – 800-876-0645
- Mercer County – 800-747-8405
- Venango County – 877-409-2421
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides assistance to households that have experienced financial hardship and may be at risk of homelessness due to Covid-19. ERAP provides tenant households assistance with rental and utility costs to include arrearages and other related housing expenses.
Click here to apply.
Round Up is a member-to-member program that helps members pay their electric bills during the winter months. Round Up allows members to round up their electric bill to the next even dollar amount. The extra change goes to a fund to help families in Central Electric Cooperative's service territory who are experiencing financial hardships. By donating your spare change, you can make a difference in a neighbor's life. It's an inexpensive way to help each other through tough times.
The concept is simple. We just round up your electric bill. For example, if your electric bill is $40.32, then your bill would be an even $41. It could also make balancing the family checkbook much easier. An average yearly donation is about $6. Add your $6 to that of other participating members, and we can really make a difference to help those in need. If you would like to make larger monthly donations, you will have the option to add a fixed monthly amount or an additional one-time contribution to Family Fund. If you decide later you are unable to contribute, you can unenroll from the program at any time.
Thank you for your contributions to this valuable program. To learn more about Round Up click here.
PA 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps people locate the local resources they need including utility assistance, employment support, rent assistance, food banks, and so much more. With one phone number, callers can gain access to available programs and services to help improve the quality of their lives. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 2-1-1. You can also text your zip code to 898-211 to connect.
Access resources online and learn more about the PA 2-1-1 agency serving your area:
For members in Clarion, Venango, and Forest Counties: Visit PA 2-1-1 Northwest
For members in Butler, Armstrong, Mercer, and Allegheny counties: Visit PA 2-1-1 Southwest