Don’t Stay In The Dark – Get Help With Your Light Bills
As people are threatened with colorable "stay at home orders", it's no surprise electricity rates have risen over 20% in recent years. Add to this lost jobs and other coordinated economic damage, and it's not hard to see why many people need help with light bills. DoNotPay can help you know how to handle this or directly take care of it for you. In fact, read to the end to discover the host of services DoNotPay can provide for a small monthly fee to make bills and other financial-legal matters as simple as possible.
Understanding Your Light Bill
can be confusing to break down. For starters, figure out what billing plan you are on. Many are simply monthly charges for actual use, but others may be the result of averages calculated for you. Not everybody is adequately made aware of this.
For light bills, it's likely your electricity is a separate line item from your gas, but your provider may merge them into a single figure. Though this is unlikely, this may be the explanation for bills that do not explicitly state the figure for "electricity."
Many strange items also appear that are not specifically for electricity, but the maintenance of the electrical grid and other related expenses. If you see, for example, an item to do with public programs, that should be a signal that you may be eligible for billing assistance – especially if you've been paying for it for some time.
Further, there are sometimes rebates that are offered through providers. Many people are eligible for rebates without even knowing it. One common utility rebate is for those using energy-efficient pool pumps. Also, appliances with higher-than-average energy efficiency may have such rebates (though it's not as common). DoNotPay has a complete guide on how you can get help with your light bills.
Check for Errors in Your Light Bill
Because these bills are almost always auto-generated, don't be surprised if there are mistakes. There are laws requiring proper notification for even valid price changes, and maybe this can help you in future negotiations with them. Another thing to look for is services you didn't request or receive. Lastly, you should do the math yourself and see if it adds up. The bill should tell you the rate as well as the quantity (e.g., kilo-watt-hour) consumed.
Organizations That Can Help With Light Bills
There are several options available for and other utilities. Here are just a number of the most well known:
|Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||Bill assistance, emergency services during shutoffs, and home weatherization||call 1-866-674-6327|
|United Way||Bill assistance and much more||Call 211 or find your local branch|
|Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)||Grants to states for monthly cash assistance programs||Send an email or find your STATE TANF franchise|
There are even more at the local level. Search within your territory, state, city, or county to find other assistance already slated for people in a utility-bill predicament. Of course, it can be tough to do without power! If you suspect you need help fast, enlist the help as quickly as possible by scrolling down to see how DoNotPay can automate much of this for you.
Signing up for Benefits on Your Own
Note that, as far as legal status goes, there are always hidden strings attached to agreeing to benefits and privileges from government entities. If you seek now, or eventually, to assert a superior standing in law and be free of abusive global economic practices in general, it's best to find assistance at the private level or through the utility company directly.
When seeking temporary relief by entering into legally binding agreements with government-services contractors or agencies, however, at the very least learn how to sign your name in such a way that you limit presumptions about your legal status (or that you are giving up more rights than you might think that you are). More people than ever are wising up to this topic, and luckily, humankind has the hard-won knowledge necessary to protect oneself from presumptions, assumptions, and color of law.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Light Bill
The bottom-line consequence of not paying your light bill is that it will be shut off. In the early 2020s, though, there's been a lot of pressure on companies to work with people before resorting to this. There were even statutes and other regulations outright prohibiting them from shutting people off for unpaid light bills (and other unpaid utilities). Time will tell how long these regulations will hold.
Additionally, there is the likelihood of having your account go into debt collection processes, which will likely impact your credit. If this happens, it's important to learn and apply the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (it applies to more situations than most think in an increasingly debt-based economy).
Ask For a Waiver on Late Fees and an Extension Date for Light Bills
One method anyone can do is to send a waiver and/or extension date letter(s) to the company, asking for the late fees to be waived and/or request an extension on the due date. Especially today, one has a broad range of very good reasons at their disposal (public health official danger, economic destabilization, socio-politically fueled harm to people's mental health – you name it) that can make one's request hard to say no to.
A basic letter format follows – but DoNotPay can create them for you and streamline the process (and for myriad bills at the same time, for that matter).
|Dear Business Time Utilities,
I am writing this letter to request an extension on the upcoming utility bill. Due to the public health crises and economic devastation, I won't be able to pay the bill of $777 in a timely fashion. Therefore, I would like to request a payment extension from [date] to [date] [pick a reasonable time frame].
The public health danger proves to be the main hurdle to my financial restoration efforts. As a result, I have experienced a significant reduction in my income over the past several weeks, as the conditions of my current employment require my physical presence.
This issue saddens me with undue financial hardship through no fault of my own and that may further cause late payments. I would like to avoid that by remaining in good standing with you and agreeing to an extension, waiver of late fees, and perhaps even a significant reduction in the amount due.
I am taking nonstop actionable steps to solve these financial and health hurdles by proactively seeking other financial assistance while being prevented from working at my current job. Extending the due date and waiving late fees (as well as any other acts of good faith you could justify) would be indispensable to remedying this matter in full, and I would appreciate it immensely as a long-time resident of [your city or region].
Thank you for your consideration.
Mr. Potato Head
We always recommend handling such matters in writing to maintain a robust administrative record, but following up with well-timed phone calls (e.g., after lunch hours) can also be helpful. It may also pay to go there in person and maybe even bring someone with you – especially if they are visibly in a hard state, to put a face on what could have just been, psychologically, a mere financial transaction to them.
How to Negotiate a Light Bill Yourself
Some things could provide negotiation leverage to stop your power from being turned off. Low-income households especially have more laws (as well as statutes and codes which interpret those laws in different ways) that could protect them.
For anyone facing a light bill issue, though, you can:
- Ask the company for an extension on your light bill due date
- Obtain a waiver on the light bill late fees
- Arrange a payment plan with the utility company
- Request a discount
- Talk to a consumer rights advocate or advisor
- Seek grants to help pay bills
- Apply for a loan and use it for the light bill
- Offset the light bill charges with a credit card (though you should have a plan to protect your credit)
- Begin learning how to take advantage of laws (such as Public Law 73-10 and Chapter 48, Section 48, Stat. 112) which protect people from being compelled to pay debts with another debt, as Federal Reserve Notes essentially are (note that this is a difficult road at first, but there are more people than ever doing just this)
If you have medical devices that require electricity to run, be sure to use this fact for all it's worth as you discuss the matter with the utility provider.
All in all, the simplest option is to brush up on your tactical communication skills and ask for a discount or payment plan with the right person at the company. Be sure to get it in writing, if you are successful. If not, you may need to cut your losses and
How To Get Help With a Light Bill With DoNotPay
Most utility companies know that public scrutiny is higher than ever on companies across the globe. Many of these companies – especially ones offering indispensable services such as utilities – would rather let the customer get back on track than lose them and generate bad publicity.
As the world's first robot lawyer, DoNotPay keeps a keen eye on these kinds of issues and knows how to use them for the best advantage of people just like you. If your light bill is getting out of control (and precisely when you've been all but physically harmed to force you to stay at home), it's important to take a proactive stand against any further exploitation. Whether it's the lighting, gas, or other bills, we have streamlined options for you that don't take up all your time.
DoNotPay can help lower your bills:
- 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.
Leave all the work to DoNotPay! We'll fight for a lower bill for you.
Why Use DoNotPay to Reduce Your Light Bill?
From reducing light bills or solving almost any financial issue, DoNotPay can keep your financial health from suffering any further. That's because we are:
- Fast—You can simply input your information into our database, and send us off to the races
- Easy—You can simply interface with us, and we will interface with the company on your behalf
- Successful—We've been resolving financial problems like this in countless industries
DoNotPay Works on Many Companies and Bills With the Click of a Button
One bright side to global economic manipulation is that most companies operate in much the same way. Exploiting these rigid weak points is something we enjoy learning about and it's positioned us to do so at a large scale. DoNotPay can negotiate:
...and many other kinds of billing issues. The people who try in vain to commoditize everything on the planet know that they can only get away with what we let them get away with. By now, enough people are pressing back that it's more worth their while to just give in and deal favorably with people.
DoNotPay takes this to the highest level, and our methods work in any of the several states and countless different industries.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Besides bills and financial matters, DoNotPay can also help with:
- Maximize small claims court outcomes
- Get just airline flight compensations
- Notarize your documents
- Search sex offender databases
- File a complaint
- Find missing money
- End defamation with demand letters
- Connect with an inmate
- Obtain compensation for victims of crime
These are just some of the issues we've been helping people overcome. Explore all that DoNotPay offers, and sign up today!