Winter is in full swing and FirstEnergy is encouraging customers who have fallen behind on their bills to contact the company.

According to the release, FirstEnergy offers a number of utility assistance programs to help customers who are struggling to pay their electric bill.

The company says thousands of customers in that position do not reach out for help because of feelings of embarrassment or because they aren't aware of bill assistance programs.

There are several programs available to help customers including the following:

  • The Percentage of Income Payment Plan - allows customers to pay a set percentage of their income toward their electric bill regardless of the balance.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program - provides cash grants for home heating bills and emergencies.
  • 2-1-1 Helpline - nationwide resource and information helpline to identify locally available programs.
  • Save the Dream Ohio, Utility Assistance Plus - provides Ohio homeowners facing economic struggles caused by the COVID pandemic with assistance paying mortgages and utility bills.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance - those having trouble paying utilities, rent or mortgage due to the COVID pandemic.
  • Emergency Hardship Funds - available to those who have suffered a recent financial hardship and need temporary assistance.

If your heat has been disconnected, FirstEnergy has a winter reconnect option that costs $175. There is no income eligibility requirement for the reconnect option.