Assistance may be available for Ohioans who need help paying their utility bills. There are many different forms of assistance for Ohioans. Some assistance programs may help reduce your monthly bills, help weatherize your home, or create a personalized payment plan. Eligibility varies from program to program, so make sure you qualify for a program before applying. Listed below are descriptions of many consumer assistance programs that you may be eligible for. These programs are provided by utilities, the State of Ohio, and various other organizations.
- Summer Crisis Program – During the summer months, consumers may qualify to receive up to $500 to pay an electric bill or repair a central air conditioning unit.
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – Two separate programs, HEAP and Emergency HEAP, can help pay a portion of winter heating costs for eligible Ohioans.
- Medical Certification Waivers – Medical Certification Waivers may help Ohioans that have a health condition that would be affected by disconnection.
- Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) – Income-eligible Ohioans may limit their electric and/or natural gas bill payments to a pre-determined percentage of their household monthly income.
- Telephone Lifeline Programs – Qualifying Ohioans can receive assistance to make their telephone service more affordable.
- Consumer Assistance for Military Families – Military members and their families may qualify for special assistance programs.
- Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) – Low-income Ohioans may be eligible to receive assistance weatherizing their home to increase energy efficiency, which can help lower utility bills.
- Winter Reconnect Order (WRO) – During the winter heating season, the WRO may allow all Ohioans, regardless of income, to reconnect or to avoid the disconnection of their utilities for one payment of $175.
- Fuel Funds – Many utility companies offer payment assistance to qualifying low-income customers.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, federal programs are providing some additional utility and rental assistance to eligible consumers.
Consumers are encouraged to contact their local Community Action Agency (see http://www.energyhelp.ohio.gov), Department of Job and Family Services, and municipal and county governments about the availability of these and other resources.
Disconnection and Reconnection of Service
If you struggle to pay electric and natural gas bills, you’re not alone. Ohioans facing disconnection have rights and responsibilities which protect them in these situations. Additionally, there are many opportunities to receive payment assistance to avoid disconnection. Learn more with this guide to energy disconnection and reconnection provided by the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.
Looking to Apply for Assistance?
See more information on consumer assistance here.