Serving as Our Eyes and Ears

Field employees – like Penn Power Meterman Anthony George – can serve as the eyes and ears of the company, looking out for customers in need of assistance.

July 2, 2019

​FirstEnergy’s Gatekeeper Program encourages field personnel to recognize and report customers who may need medical, social or financial assistance.

What to Look For

Signs a customer may need assistance include:

  • Appearing confused or disoriented
  • Expressing difficulty with paying bills
  • Living alone or being socially isolated
  • Having difficulty seeing, speaking, hearing or moving around
  • Living in a home with an accumulation of newspapers, neglected yard, unattended pets or offensive odor

“Our line workers, meter readers, collectors and other field personnel are the eyes and ears of our company. They can see firsthand what’s happening in and around the communities we serve,” said Natasha Brady, assistant business analyst, Human Services. “The Gatekeeper Program assists our field personnel in getting help to those customers who truly need it.”

A recent referral received through our Revenue Operations group provides an excellent example of how the program works. When collectors went to disconnect service at an Ohio customer’s home, they could not access the meter because of the neglected state of the yard. While disconnecting service at a nearby utility pole, they contacted the customer – who appeared extremely disoriented. After the collectors reported the situation, Human Services worked with the Ohio Development Services Agency to have the customer’s electric service restored.

“We later learned that the customer had some medical problems that left him disoriented at times,” Natasha said. “As a result, we placed additional referrals with assistance agencies to help the customer with medical expenses and other utility bills.”

To report a customer who may need assistance, email The case will be assigned to a Human Services analyst who will investigate and take the appropriate action. Customers also can access, which provides a breakdown of state-by-state agency assistance programs they may qualify for.