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Struggling to pay your utilities? Here are resources for utility payment assistance in DC

You don’t have to wait until the moratorium on utility payments in the District ends to figure out how you’re going to pay your bill.

WASHINGTON — Even though there is currently a moratorium on utility shutoffs and late fees in the District, people will have to eventually pay their bill. So we want to make sure that you know how to access the funds that are available to you. 

Benjamin Armstrong is a spokesperson for PEPCO. Armstrong tells WUSA9 that not only has the average amount a customer owes PEPCO has increased, but so have the number of people who have payments in arrears.

"This year we have about 98,000 customers who are in arrears and that compares to around 70,000 customers at the same time last year," Armstrong said.

The average amount a customer owes PEPCO has increased from $316 to $525 since last year, according to Armstrong.

"The most important thing a customer can do is reach out to us, if they are in arrears," Armstrong said.

There are a number of programs based on your household income that could get you the assistance you need right now. One is the federal program is called LIHEAP. The LIHEAP program through the federal government is fairly easy to navigate. 

The criteria is really clear and PEPCO will walk you through the steps if you call them.

"For a customer who may be in arrears, they could receive up to $1,800 just through the LIHEAP program," Armstrong explained.

There are also local funds that available called constituent services funds. According to D.C. law, passed due utility bills are one of the many reasons they can be requested.

"We want to help those who can't afford. Those who lost their jobs. Those whose income has just taken a dive because of the pandemic," said DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

According to Government records, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is one of seven members of the D.C. government that have constituent services funds:

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser: $159,672. Contact Bowser’s constituent services office here.
  • Chairman Phil Mendelson: $114,503. Contact Brenda McDuffie or Brittany Hughes by phone or email.
  • At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds: $13,731. Contact Bonds’ senior advisor David Meadows at dmeadows@dccouncil.us.
  • Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh: $12,082. Fill out a constituent services request form on Cheh’s website.
  • Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie: $202.86. Contact McDuffie’s office at (202) 724-8028 or email his constituent services director Kelley Cislo here
  • Ward 7 Councilmember Vince Gray: $7,110. Contact his constituent services team (D.L. Humphrey and Tamika Finnell) via phone or email here.
  • Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White:$5,026. Call White’s main office at (202) 724-8045. He also has three constituent services staffers: James Wood, Eric Cleckley, and Louise Thorne.

For more information or how to get in contact with your constituents, click here.

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