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Unlocking Savings and Efficiency: Duke Energy Disability Discount Programs

Last updated: December 6, 2023

Duke Energy actively addresses the specific needs of customers with disabilities, offering tailored programs for financial and energy efficiency support.

The average electric bill in the United States is $142.73, highlighting the significance of energy-saving initiatives for those with financial constraints.[1]

Duke Energy provides a range of assistance options, including LIHEAP, budget billing, and emergency aid, to alleviate the energy cost burden for disabled customers.

The EnergyWise Home Program and other energy efficiency upgrades offered by Duke Energy play a crucial role in reducing energy bills and enhancing the living comfort and safety of customers with disabilities.[2]

Duke Energy acknowledges the unique challenges encountered by customers with disabilities, especially in managing energy expenses. To address these challenges, Duke Energy offers a range of programs and services, including the Duke Energy Disability Discount, designed to provide financial relief and promote energy efficiency. This guide aims to detail these initiatives, emphasizing the significance of such support in fostering both economic and energy sustainability for disabled individuals.

Overview of Duke Energy's Assistance Programs

Duke Energy, a leading energy provider, understands the financial impact of energy costs on its customers, especially given that the average electric bill in the United States is $142.73.[1] To alleviate this burden for customers with disabilities, Duke Energy has established a suite of assistance programs. These programs are thoughtfully designed to address the unique challenges faced by these customers, offering financial support and practical solutions to manage and reduce energy bills effectively.

  • Financial assistance to help cover energy costs.

  • Customized energy solutions aimed at reducing overall energy consumption.

  • Flexible payment plans.

  • Dedicated customer support. 

  • Innovative technologies that help customers manage their energy usage more effectively.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a vital federal initiative designed to support low-income households in effectively managing their energy costs. This program is especially significant for Duke Energy customers with disabilities, who often face unique financial challenges.

For those who qualify, LIHEAP provides substantial discounts on both electricity and natural gas expenses. This reduction can significantly lower the monthly financial burden faced by disabled individuals, helping them allocate their limited resources to other essential needs.

To benefit from LIHEAP, Duke Energy customers must meet certain income criteria, which are typically based on the federal poverty level. The application process usually involves submitting proof of income and household size.

Special Assistance Program

“Duke Energy offers a Special Assistance Program that includes budget billing and deferred payment plans to aid customers facing financial hardships.”

The Special Assistance Program by Duke Energy is a comprehensive initiative designed to aid customers who are facing financial hardships. This program is structured to address various challenges through multiple components:

Budget Billing

The budget billing service is designed to even out energy costs throughout the year. By calculating an average monthly energy bill, Duke Energy provides customers with a consistent and predictable bill each month. This aspect of the program is particularly advantageous for customers on fixed incomes, such as those with disabilities or retirees. It allows for better financial planning without the worry of fluctuating energy costs.

Deferred Payment Plans

Understanding the varying financial situations of its customers, Duke Energy offers deferred payment plans. These plans allow customers to pay their energy bills over a longer period, easing the immediate financial burden. A key feature of these plans is the absence of interest charges, making them a viable option for customers who need extra time to pay their bills without the added stress of accruing interest.

Duke Energy works with customers to tailor these payment plans according to their specific financial situations, ensuring that the arrangements are manageable and sustainable.

Emergency Assistance

The emergency assistance component of the program provides immediate financial aid to customers who find themselves in unexpected situations, such as sudden medical expenses or a loss of income. This aid is critical in helping customers maintain their energy services during tough times, ensuring that their essential needs, particularly for those reliant on medical equipment, are not disrupted.

EnergyWise Home Program

The EnergyWise Home Program is a key initiative by Duke Energy, highlighting its commitment to promoting energy efficiency and supporting customers with disabilities.[2] This program is designed to assist in both identifying potential energy savings and implementing practical solutions to achieve them.

Free Home Energy Audits

The cornerstone of the EnergyWise Home Program is the provision of free home energy audits. These audits are conducted by professionals who assess a customer's home to identify areas where energy efficiency can be improved.

During the audit, aspects like insulation, window seals, heating and cooling systems, and overall energy consumption patterns are evaluated. This comprehensive assessment is particularly beneficial for customers with disabilities who may have specific energy needs.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Following the audit, Duke Energy offers free energy-efficient upgrades to eligible customers. These upgrades can range from installing improved insulation to replacing old, inefficient appliances with new, energy-saving models.

The program may also include installing energy-efficient lighting and smart thermostats, which can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs.

Enhanced Comfort and Safety

“The EnergyWise Home Program by Duke Energy provides free home energy audits and energy-efficient upgrades to enhance comfort and safety for customers with disabilities.”

Beyond just reducing energy bills, these upgrades play a crucial role in enhancing the overall comfort and safety of the homes of disabled customers. For instance, better insulation can lead to a more consistent indoor temperature, which is essential for individuals with certain health conditions.

Additionally, energy-efficient appliances are often safer, more reliable, and easier to use, which is an important consideration for individuals with mobility or dexterity challenges.

Income-Qualified Services

For customers who meet certain income criteria, Duke Energy offers:

  • Discounted Rates: Qualifying customers can enjoy reduced rates on their electricity and natural gas bills, easing the financial burden.

  • Free Energy Efficiency Upgrades: These include weatherization services and the installation of energy-efficient appliances, which can lead to significant long-term savings on energy bills.

Flex Savings Option

uke Energy's Flex Savings Option encourages customers to use electricity during off-peak hours when demand is lower and rates are cheaper. This shift in usage time results in lower electricity bills. 

Customers who can adjust their energy usage, such as running appliances or charging electric vehicles during off-peak times, stand to benefit most from this option. Using energy during off-peak hours also helps in reducing the load on the power grid, contributing to environmental sustainability.

Application Process

To apply for any of these programs, customers should contact Duke Energy's customer service. The application process may involve providing proof of income, disability, or other relevant documentation. Duke Energy's customer service team can guide applicants through each step, ensuring a smooth and accessible process.

Duke Energy's Supportive Initiatives for Customers with Disabilities

The Duke Energy disability discount programs offer valuable support to customers with disabilities, helping them manage their energy expenses more effectively. By taking advantage of these programs, eligible customers can not only save money but also contribute to energy conservation, aligning with broader sustainability goals.

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Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
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