Today will be a busy day for utility companies across Pennsylvania, starting today they can start turning off service for customers with over due bills. The Winter ban on shutoffs ended on April 1.

From now until November 30, energy companies are able to disconnect customers for non-payment.

Fortunately, there are several programs that are available for those who are struggling to pay their bills.

The first step Penelec suggests customers do if they are behind on their utilities is to call them to find out what assistance programs are available for them.

Grants can range from $500 to $1,200 and the money is given directly to utility companies to avoid shutoffs.

Penelec Spokesman, Todd Myers encourages anyone who is struggling to take advantage of the assistance.

"What is happening now is those termination notices have resumed, so it's incumbent on people if you are past due, there is a number of customers out there Penelec probably has north of 50,000 customers not just in Erie County but, throughout the area that are past due and in danger of being terminated," says Myers. "There is a lot of options out there because at the end of the day we don't want anyone to feel like there too embarrassed to call or they are afraid to call for help."