How to Get Help Paying Electric Bills in VA
The price of electricity has risen drastically in the last decade. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average price per kilowatt-hour will hit $14.22 this year. Most homes use 30 kWh in a single day, so some residents will need .
We rely on electricity for powering our internet routers, keeping the lights on, and even getting our gas heaters running! Nobody wants to have their lights shut off in VA during bitterly cold weather. If you're struggling with overdue utilities, reach out to DoNotPay!
Navigating Your VA Electric Bill
If you notice that your power bill is higher than usual, it might be for other reasons besides rising energy prices. Certain times of year require some devices to be used more often:
- Spring: Sprinkler systems and other types of electric lawn equipment
- Summer: Pool pumps, air conditioners
- Fall: Electric leaf blowers
- Winter: Electric and gas heaters, electric snow blowers
Electric bills are also higher in fall and winter because of reduced daylight hours. When the sun sets earlier, that's more time that your house lights will need to stay on!
Errors are also very common on electric bills, and many consumers go for months without noticing! These include:
|Meter Reading Issues||You can see how much energy you're using by taking a look at your utility meter. For residential homeowners, this box is usually located on the outside of your house. For apartment dwellers, the meter could be located in a utility closet or other common area. Once you find it, compare the rating on the meter to your previous bills. If something seems abnormal, the meter may be malfunctioning.|
|Unusual Usage||A sudden usage spike in your electric bill could indicate a serious problem. Sometimes, it's something as harmless as leaving the light on in the attic. However, it can also be a sign of equipment damage or leakage somewhere in your home.|
|Contractual Errors||If you've recently switched energy providers, be sure to check that your old contract has been terminated. Otherwise, you'll be paying for both suppliers!|
|Human Errors||Mistakes can always happen, even for automatic bill payments! Your utility bill may have been switched with another current customer's invoice. Sometimes utility companies will also charge you the wrong rates, or invoice you for a previous tenant's closed account.|
|Incorrect Taxes||Utility bills usually include some combination of state tax, city tax, county tax, and federal tax fees. Check your local tax rates yourself to ensure that they align with your utility bill.|
Resources When You Can't Pay Your Electric Bill
Electric bills often become unmanageable simply because customers can't afford to make the payments. By the time they're ready to pay one bill, more late charges have already been added to their accounts!
Utility assistance options in Virginia include:
The Virginia EAP (Energy Assistance Program) helps cover electricity costs related to heating and cooling for low-income consumers. This program will also provide assistance for costs incurred during a crisis or for medically-necessary equipment.
The Salvation Army can provide you with a grant for paying your gas and electric bills. Be aware that you need to be a low-income customer to qualify!
Arranging Payment Plans
You might be able to keep your electricity from being shut off by calling your utility company. Even if you can't pay your complete balance instantly, these companies often allow you to pay it off in installments.
Alternatively, you can arrange for your billing date to be moved later or earlier in the month. That way, your bill payment schedule can align with your next paycheck.
How to Negotiate VA Electric Bills by Yourself
The simplest way of attempting to lower your utility bill usually involves calling the company directly. However, if your account hasn't been in good standing for several months, they might be hesitant to assist you.
Alternatively, you can enroll in Virginia's EAP by following these steps:
- Check your eligibility requirements on EAP's website.
- Apply online here.
- You can also enroll via phone by calling 1-855-635-4370.
- For mail-in applications, choose the appropriate form on the EAP services page. Once completed, mail it directly to the social services department in your area.
However, it's always easy to get into this program because of the strict eligibility requirements. Besides proof of income, one of the residents of the home must be disabled, elderly, or a young child. You also only have a very limited window of time to submit the application each year!
DoNotPay Can Lower Any VA Utility Bill Quickly!
Falling behind on your electric bills can have lasting consequences on your financial and mental wellbeing. DoNotPay can reduce any amount of utility debt, regardless of your income level!
DoNotPay can with one simple process:
- Go to the Negotiate Bills product on DoNotPay.
- Choose whether you want us to call and negotiate your bill for you or send a bill negotiation letter on your behalf.
- Provide the details that will help us negotiate your bill including the company name and how much your current plan costs.
- Enter your contact information, including email, address, and phone number.
When it comes to negotiations, DoNotPay is always:
- Quick to contact your utility company within a few days!
- Simple to use: just give us a few details about your situation and we'll take it from there!
- Ready to fight for your case and lower bills without any stress on your part!
DoNotPay Helps With Any Overdue Bill
With rising electricity costs, you've probably seen increases applied to your cable or cell phone bill. DoNotPay can also help you lower these bills, as well as find assistance programs in any state!
It's Never Too Late for DoNotPay to Help With Something Else!
After your utility bill is paid, you might need some additional assistance from DoNotPay. Has your credit been affected by overdue utilities, or did you fall behind due to factors out of your control? We can help with:
- Repairing your credit after a few missed bills
- Lower your overall home expenses with reduced property taxes
- Getting refunds after utility outages
Visiting DoNotPay is the first step to solving all of these problems!