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CARES Act funding available for West Virginia customers

October 16, 2020

  • The State of West Virginia is allocating $25 million in U.S. CARES Act funding to help pay the utility bills of residential customers in the state.
  • Customers with past due balances from March through July will receive a letter from Appalachian Power (or AEP in Marshall and Ohio counties) with instructions for how to apply for this funding.
  • The application must be completed and returned by November 12.
  • Appalachian Power will provide this information to the State of West Virginia, which will determine the amount of assistance to be provided.
  • This assistance will show as a credit on electric bills and is expected by December 31.


How much funding is available to pay power bills?

The Governor has dedicated a total of $25 million for all utility bills. Of that, $5 million is directed to municipalities. The remaining $20 million will be used for gas, water and electric utility bills for customers across the state. An exact amount for each utility or company is not yet known, as it will depend on customer applications.

Will the grants cover everything I owe on my electric bill?

The funding is intended to apply towards past due balances on bills from March 1 through July 31. Thus, customers with balances for usage outside that time frame will still need to pay for that usage.

In addition, because the grant money will be divided up among the customers who apply, we don’t know yet if there will be adequate funding to pay all past due bills, or if customers will receive credit for a portion of their past due amount.

I already received a disconnect notice. Do I still need to make payments on my account?

Yes. The CARES Act funds are only applicable to bills issued during the eligible period of March 1-July 31. You are responsible for paying bills issued before and after the eligible period.

What customers are eligible for the funding?

Residential customers with past due balances incurred during March through July who certify that their eligible balance resulted from economic hardship or uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible.

How do customers apply for the funding?

Customers with eligible past due balances will receive a letter from Appalachian Power or AEP (in Ohio and Marshall Counties).  They must complete the enclosed application and return it as directed before November 12.

When should I receive the letter?

Letters will be mailed out by October 20.

What if I don’t receive a letter, but believe I’m eligible for a grant?

Call us on 1-800-956-4237 and we’ll check on it for you or go to careswv.org to apply.

How many customers are eligible for the funding?

Approximately 30,000 customers.

Where does this funding come from?

Funding for these grants comes from the CARES Act, which stands for the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27 in response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.


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