From Crisis to Catalyst: St. Petersburg’s Duke Energy and City Utility Offer Support Through Relief Programs

In a joint effort to alleviate the financial burden brought on by the challenges of the past years, Duke Energy and City Utility of St. Petersburg have launched the Renter Utility Relief Programs as of Tuesday, March 12th. These programs are tailored specifically to assist residents in settling past due utility bills encompassing water, electric, and sewer expenses.

Independently Administered Programs: No Referrals Needed
First and foremost, it’s crucial to emphasize that this initiative is not a referral-based program. Duke Energy and City Utility are independently administering these relief programs. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to utilize the provided application links below, and not to seek referrals from external sources.

Key Eligibility Requirements to Qualify for Assistance
To be eligible for the Renter Utility Relief Programs, applicants must meet the following criteria:

⦁ Have a past due utility bill or are on a payment plan. This program does not apply if your bill is not past due.
⦁ Be a resident of the City of St. Petersburg (City Limits Map: Link)
⦁ Either be a tenant of a residential dwelling (renter) or a landlord with utility costs included in the rental agreement
⦁ Have experienced financial hardship directly attributable to Covid-19 (Inflation-related difficulties are deemed sufficient)
⦁ Be at risk of housing instability or homelessness
⦁ Have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – it is advisable to verify income limits for 2023
⦁ Not have received more than 18 months of previous Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) aid

All eligibility requirements will be based on self-attestation. Residents meeting the criteria will receive notifications via email, text, or through their City Utility and Duke Energy accounts, informing them of the availability of the relief program along with application links.

Assistance Details: No Fixed Financial Limit, but a Capped Timeframe
It’s important to note that there is no predetermined financial assistance amount limit for eligible applicants. However, there is a restriction on the duration of assistance – recipients can receive aid for no more than 18 total months of ERA assistance.

Application Process

    • To kickstart the application process for Duke Energy, interested individuals can access the Application Form: (Link)
    • To kickstart the application process for City Utility (St. Petersburg), interested individuals can access the Application Form: (Link)

This collaborative effort between Duke Energy and City Utility stands as a beacon of support for the residents of St. Petersburg, providing a lifeline for those grappling with utility bill challenges amidst the continuing impact of the global pandemic. It’s a testament to the commitment of both entities to the well-being of the community, exemplifying how public-private partnerships can make a tangible difference in the lives of those facing financial hardship. As the programs get underway, residents are encouraged to take advantage of this invaluable opportunity for relief and stability.

If your application(s) are denied and you need assistance with appealing the denial, please reach out to our Pinellas Eviction Diversion Program at (727) 582-7475. Community Law Program’s Pinellas Eviction Diversion Program (PEDP) aims to prevent homelessness for Pinellas County residents at risk of eviction.