Keeping the service on during financial hardship
At Rhode Island Energy, we understand that many customers are unable to pay their bills due to financial hardship, now more than ever. We’re doing all we can to help keep the service on in your time of need.
Protection for Infants
If you have a child younger than two years old living in your home and you are struggling to pay your energy bills because of financial hardship, your service will NOT be turned off.
To qualify, you must:
- Fill out a financial hardship form;
- Provide proof of financial hardship (such as tax returns, three months of pay stubs, or Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income award letter from within the past year); and
- Verify the child/children’s date(s) of birth by providing copy of the birth certificate(s).
Protection for Serious Illness/Handicapped
If you are seriously ill and/or handicapped and are having trouble paying your energy bills because of financial hardship, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and Rhode Island Energy have protections in place to help you:
Seriously ill is defined as “an illness that is life-threatening or that will cause irreversible adverse consequences to human health,” or “has a significant potential to become life-threatening or to cause irreversible adverse consequences to human health.”
To qualify, your licensed physician must complete the Serious Illness / Handicapped Form.
Service will not be terminated for three weeks or otherwise as extended by the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers. If it is not extended by the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, Serious Illness Protection does expire after three weeks. The account will then be subject to collection activity, including termination of service unless you:
- Contact Rhode Island Energy at 1-855-RIE-1103 for Gas Customers, 1-855-RIE-1104 for Electric Customers to arrange for payment of your bill;
- Dispute liability for any part of the bill, terms, conditions, or payment;
- Request a hearing with the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to seek an extension of this protection; or
- Enroll in a residential payment plan or other payment arrangement—for more information, visit More Time to Pay.
To qualify as handicapped, the customer in whose name the service is listed is required to submit:
- The Serious Illness/Handicapped Form regarding your impairment, and
- A copy of the Award Letter for proof of receiving Social Security Disability (SSD).
If you qualify, Rhode Island Energy will not terminate service to handicapped customers without written approval by the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.
Protection for the Elderly
If you and everyone who resides in your home are 62 or older, and you have trouble paying your energy bills because of financial hardship, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and Rhode Island Energy have protections in place to help you.
To prove your age, the customer in whose name the service is listed must complete the elderly form and provide proof of age that all household members are 62 years old or older.
Valid proof of age includes a copy of one of the following for each resident:
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Military ID
- Marriage certificate
Rhode Island Energy will not terminate service to elderly customers without written approval by the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.