New PIPP Plus Program Rules Go Into Effect for Dominion East Ohio Customers
Cleveland, November 2, 2010 - Major changes in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) will lower monthly payments for enrolled Dominion East Ohio customers, while also helping those customers reduce their old debts faster, provided they make monthly payments in full by the due date on their bill, according to Ohio Department of Development officials. The revised program will be called "PIPP Plus" and is now effective.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is replacing the former statewide PIPP program with PIPP Plus, which allows income-eligible customers to make lower energy payments to maintain their utility service. Under the PIPP Plus program, customers with total household incomes at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines can pay a percentage of their gross monthly household income to maintain service. State regulations require natural gas and electric companies to accept these payments so that customers can maintain utility service.
Previously, PIPP required enrolled customers to pay 10 percent of their total gross monthly household income to maintain natural gas service. PIPP Plus requires participating customers to pay a lower percentage, 6 percent, of their total gross monthly household income, or a $10 minimum payment, whichever is greater, to maintain their natural gas service.
Each time customers make their required PIPP Plus monthly payments in full by the due date, Dominion East Ohio will credit their account for the rest of that month's current charges, plus a 1/24th credit toward their prior account balance. After 24 months of full and on-time payments, their accounts should be current.
Along with lower payments and increased balance crediting, PIPP Plus also carries the following penalties if customers fail to make their program payments:
- If customers miss PIPP Plus payments, their gas service will be turned off, they will be removed from the program and their entire account balance will become due.
- Customers will have 30 days from their PIPP Plus anniversary date to make up any missed payments, or they will be removed from PIPP Plus.
- If participating customers do not re-verify their gross monthly household income once every 12 months, they will be removed from PIPP plus. Customers can re-verify sooner if their household size or income changes.
For the 2010-2011 heating season, customers' yearly gross household income can be up to: $16,245 for one person; $21,855 for two people; $27,465 for three; and $33,075 for four. Add $5,610 for each additional person.
PIPP Plus customers who either become income ineligible or choose to leave PIPP Plus, but still owe a balance on their utility bill and are in good standing with their utilities, may enroll in Graduate PIPP Plus through the utility. Customers have 12 months on Graduate PIPP Plus to retire their arrearage(s). Gas utility customers will pay the average of the PIPP Plus installment and the budget billing amount. For every full, on-time payment customers make, they shall receive an arrearage credit equal to 1/12 of the arrearage plus the accruing arrearage (if any).
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation, 12,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,000 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 942 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
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