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(WKBN) – If you’re struggling to pay your utilities, now is the time to contact FirstEnergy.

In less than a month, shut-offs for nonpayment will be starting again for both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

FirstEnergy temporarily suspended shutoffs due to nonpayment during the pandemic.

FirstEnergy will resume disconnections on April 15 in Ohio and April 1 in Pennsylvania.

FirstEnergy has several assistance programs or you can sign up for payment plans.

A spokesperson for FirstEnergy said that a lot of people aren’t aware of their programs, or they don’t reach out because they’re embarrassed.

“If this is you, please do not let this keep you from seeking assistance. We have a team of customer service representatives who are dedicated to helping our customers through challenging times because many of them have also been in positions at some point in their lives where they had to rely on some extra help to get through,” said Lauren Siburkis of First Energy.

The assistance programs vary. They’re based on income and household size.

“The last thing we want to do is apply a late fee or issue a disconnection notice to a customer-facing financial hardship when it can be avoided by simply giving our customer service team a call and explaining their situation and see what help is available to them,” Siburkis said.

To apply or learn more about other utility bill assistance programs, click this link and click on “Search Assistance Programs.”

Residents are also encouraged to contact their utility’s customer service team at 1-800-589-3101 (Illuminating Company), 1-800-633-4766 (Ohio Edison) or 1-800-447-3333 (Toledo Edison), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.