FirstEnergy's Utilities Encourage Customers to Arrange Payment Plans and Bill Assistance to Avoid Unmanageable Balances

Programs Can Help Alleviate Growing Balances for Customers Having Financial Difficulty Due to the Pandemic
Ohio Utilities Map

AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 17, 2020 -- Residential and business customers of FirstEnergy Corp's (NYSE: FE) Ohio electric utilities who are having difficulty making ends meet are encouraged to contact their utility now to enroll in payment plans or bill assistance programs. While shutoffs for nonpayment are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, establishing an affordable payment arrangement or obtaining assistance can help keep balances manageable during this difficult time.

"We understand many customers are in a difficult financial situation because of the pandemic," said Michelle Henry, vice president of customer service at FirstEnergy. "Customers who have lost income during this crisis may be eligible for assistance that was unavailable to them before, but some of those programs might not be available later, when overdue balances must be addressed."

Customer service representatives are available to assist residential customers with manageable payment arrangements and can provide customers with information on needs-based assistance programs. These programs may include forgiveness of all or part of a customer's overdue balance, helping them to avoid a large bill that would otherwise be due when the temporary suspension on shutoffs ends.

Customers of FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities, Ohio Edison (OE), The Illuminating Company (CEI) and Toledo Edison (TE), may be eligible for one or more of the following programs:

  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan: This program allows customers to pay a percentage of their income instead of their actual bill amount. To apply, contact Ohio Development Service Agency at 800-282-0880 or visit the Ohio Development Service Agency's Website.
  • Ohio Fuel Fund: Provides grants of up to $300 to assist qualified customers with electric bills. This program is only available to CEI customers. To schedule an appointment call 216-350-8008.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program: Provides cash grants for home heating and cooling emergencies to qualified customers. Summer crisis assistance is available through September 30. To apply, contact the Ohio Development Service Agency at 800-282-0880 or visit the Ohio Development Service Agency's Website.
  • Emergency Hardship Funds: Helps customers who have experienced a financial hardship either to pay an overdue bill or to reconnect service. To apply: CEI customers can call 216-861-8185; TE customers can call 419-241-3549; and OE customers can visit the REACH Agencies list.
  • 211: This nationwide resource and information helpline identifies locally available programs that may assist customers with utility bills or other needs. For more information dial 211, visit or text your ZIP code to 898211.

For additional program information, please visit

FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities also have established a customer service team dedicated to assisting business and commercial customers. This team can provide helpful information on available assistance programs and offer payment arrangements if needed. To explore these programs, please contact your utility company and ask to speak with a member of the Small Business Team. Ohio utility customer service numbers are:


Ohio Edison



The Illuminating Company



Toledo Edison


Ohio Edison serves more than one million customers across 34 Ohio counties. Follow Ohio Edison on Twitter @OhioEdison, on Facebook at, and online at

The Illuminating Company serves 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at

Toledo Edison serves more than 300,000 customers in northwest Ohio. Follow Toledo Edison on Twitter @ToledoEdison, on Facebook at, and online at

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.



Contact: Chris Eck, (330) 384-7939

Last Modified: August 17, 2020