FPL Helps Senior Citizens and Customers With Special Needs to Make Bill Payments on Time

Jan 17, 2001, 00:00 ET from Florida Power & Light Company

    JUNO BEACH, Fla., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks to an alert and
 compassionate Florida Power & Light Company field representative, an FPL
 customer is getting some much-needed help.
     When FPL representative Randy Crain visited the customer's home to inquire
 about an overdue electric bill, he said the customer seemed confused. The
 customer walked away for a few minutes and when he returned he had forgotten
 why Mr. Crain was at his house, where he lives alone.
     During the next few minutes, the two talked about the overdue bill, and
 the customer paid the FPL bill.  Still, Mr. Crain was troubled and knew the
 customer needed assistance.
     "I noticed his eyes had a glazed look to them and I knew something wasn't
 right," said Mr. Crain.  "I wanted to help, and so I did the only thing I
 could have done."
     Using FPL Special Consumer Services Programs, Mr. Crain and his supervisor
 arranged for an outside agency to assist the customer with his daily
 responsibilities.  FPL is not releasing the customer's name to ensure his
 privacy and safety.
     FPL, the Elder Helpline, a state network of agencies that specializes in
 linking senior citizens to various services, and the Alzheimer's Community
 Care Association have joined in their efforts to assist the customer.
 Additional services also were arranged from Meals on Wheels and the Department
 of Children & Families Adult Protective Service.
     "ACCA appreciates the opportunity to work with FPL in the community to
 identify and assist seniors who may be at risk due to confusion or memory
 problems," said Dolores Lomonaco, a registered nurse and family consultant at
 ACCA.  "We can all be good neighbors and friends by being alert to changes
 that may take place in someone we know or have contact with."
     "Indications that an elderly person may need assistance include wandering
 off and getting lost, repeating themselves, neglecting personal appearance/
 hygiene, weight loss, frequent calls to police and loss of interest in keeping
 up with yard and/or home chores," said Nurse Lomonaco.
     FPL offers an array of services to provide assistance to customers who
 cannot pay their electricity bills.  Further, FPL offers senior citizens
 similar plans to help remind them that their bill is due and to help those on
 fixed incomes meet their payments.  Other services that FPL offers include:
     Double Notice Protection Plan: Through this plan, a customer can designate
 an additional party to receive notification of any final notices that may be
 rendered on their account.  This service helps protect customers, who may
 misplace or forget to pay their electric bill, from having their services
     62 Plus Payment Plan: An optional payment plan designed to extend the pay-
 by-date for customers who depend on social security, disability or similar
 benefits.  For customers who qualify, the pay-by-date is adjusted to coincide
 with the receipt of their monthly checks.
     Budget Billing: An optional payment plan to assist customers in avoiding
 the peaks and valleys of monthly electric bills.  The monthly electric usage
 is leveled over a 12-month period allowing the participating customer to more
 easily budget their payments for electric service.
     Medically Essential Service: This program flags the customer's account to
 indicate special medical needs.  A customer is eligible if they have
 continuously operating electric-powered medical equipment necessary to sustain
 the life of or avoid serious medical complications requiring immediate
 hospitalization of the customer or another permanent resident at the service
 address.  Participating customers are advised to acquire back-up power
 supplies and develop a contingency plan should loss of power occur.
     Speech and Hearing Disabled Telephone: FPL provides a special toll-free
 number (1-800-432-6554) that allows hearing or speech-disabled customers to
 use their Teletype communication systems to communicate with FPL customer
 service personnel.
     Additional programs such as Automatic Funds Transfer, FPL E-bill with
 Checkfree and Low Income Home Energy Assistance programs are also available to
 qualifying customers.  For additional information or to sign up for FPL
 services, please call the customer service number on the lower portion of your
     Florida Power & Light is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc.
 (NYSE:   FPL), one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related
 services with annual revenues of more than $6 billion. The company serves
 3.8 million customer accounts in Florida.  FPL Energy, LLC., FPL Group's U.S.
 and international energy generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing
 electricity from clean and renewable fuels.  Information is available on the
 Internet at www.fpl.com.

SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company