The San Juan Daily Star
Federal program helps eligible households pay power bill
By The Star Staff
A federal program is now available to help poor families who have received a service suspension notice get current on their electricity bills.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz and Socioeconomic Development of the Family (ADSEF by its Spanish acronym) Administrator Alberto Fradera announced the start of the federal program that will provide savings to individuals and families who are in arrears in the payment of their electricity bills.
The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, doubled the funds for Puerto Rico, allocating $36 million. The program is for poor families in arrears on their electricity payments who have received a suspension or disconnection notice on their last bill.
“This year, families who qualify can receive help of up to $1,200 to pay for electricity service,” the governor said. “We have seen a high cost in fuel prices worldwide that directly affects the prices of gasoline and electricity, which is why as a government we are constantly looking for alternatives that can represent relief in the pockets of the people. This aid that we announce today joins the Housing Department’s Rental Payment Assistance Program, which in addition to aiding families in making rent payments, also provides financial aid for the payment of water and electricity services.”
González Magaz said “with this help, our families will be able to receive relief in their pockets and avoid having their electricity service suspended or cut off, which is vital in our society.”
Meanwhile, the ADSEF administrator noted that the benefit is granted only once per fiscal year and the payment is made directly to the LUMA Energy account. That is, people do not receive aid money.
“We encourage those who meet the eligibility requirements to apply,” Fradera said. “This aid is subject to the availability of funds and the validation of the data provided by the applicant. The process is simple and fast. They can do so through the ADSEF Digital platform at pr.gov and at https://serviciosenlinea.adsef.pr.gov/adsefdigital/Security/Login.aspx. If you do not have access to the internet, you can apply by calling 3-1-1 or visiting any office of the Family Department.”
Applicants must access the ADSEF Digital platform from pr.gov, complete the application and submit a series of documents. They will then be redirected to shiftspr.com where they will be scheduled for a phone appointment with an eligibility officer who will inform them if they are eligible for energy crisis financial assistance.