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Affected customers urged to reach out for help with bills

July 6, 2020 | Jodi Baker | energy savings, products & services
customer service

OPPD has closely watched how the coronavirus has impacted the communities it serves.

Since early spring, the utility responded by offering solutions for customers facing financial hardship during this time, including suspending disconnections for non-payment. Now, as society begins to adapt to its new normal, OPPD will adjust these options and continue to help customers in need.

Summer changes

As of July 1, OPPD is resuming the assessment of late payment charges and disconnection for non-payment. However, depending on a customer’s specific circumstances, late payment fees could be waived for up to three months within a 12-month period.

In March, OPPD announced it would suspend disconnections for non-payment. In April, the utility’s board approved suspending the assessment of late payment charges. As the situation has evolved, so is OPPD’s approach to helping customers.

During the past several months, OPPD has offered a series of Customer First Solutions designed to help customers currently facing challenges and hardships related to the pandemic.

Resources available

Customers who need help may reach out by calling 402-536-4131 in the Omaha calling area, or 877-536-4131 outside Omaha. OPPD wants to work with customers to setup workable payment plans and help connect them to community resources for assistance.

Financial help is available through local organizations as well as state agencies. The utility would like to remind customers that making a partial payment will help them avoid accumulating a large balance that may be harder to pay off later.

Customers who are unable to pay their utility bills may qualify for Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) federal grant funding. Customers can receive up to $500 in crisis assistance. Customers can also visit OPPD’s Energy Assistance Program website or Dollar Energy Fund’s Agency Finder to contact groups offering assistance.

OPPD strongly encourages customers who feel overwhelmed by utility debt to reach out for crisis assistance. The utility will waive collection and reconnection fees on the first field visit. OPPD will still honor its standard moratorium on disconnections during holidays and during extreme heat or cold.

Additional support

OPPD is offering the following additional support measures to customers:

  • Removing income restrictions on OPPD’s own energy assistance fund through September. This will help more customers who may not otherwise qualify. Customers may receive up to $500 in energy assistance through the utility.
  • Launched the new Gift of Energy program, which enables people to pay a customer’s bill based upon their address.
  • OPPD continues to offer information about saving energy and other helpful information for businesses through its Business Energy Advisor website.
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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker writes stories and shoots videos for The Wire. Jodi was a television news reporter before she came to work for OPPD as a media specialist in 2013. Jodi earned her degree in broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She's worked for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to sunny San Diego. She’s married with two bright and energetic children (a boy and a girl) and an allergy-ridden little Cairn Terrier. She and her husband enjoy catching up on some grown-up DVR time once the kiddos are asleep.

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