Ohio's Energy Assistance Programs - Department of Development
The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) offers several programs to help low-income Ohioans pay their utility bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Winter Crisis Program (WCP), Summer Crisis Program (SCP), Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) and Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) on line at http://development.ohio.gov/
For WCP and SCP, the utility bill must be in the name of an eligible household member. An appointment is required at a local community action agency.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:
HEAP is designed to assist eligible low-income Ohioans with their winter heating bills. Households may be eligible for assistance from HEAP, WCP, SCP, or HWAP if the household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Households may be eligible for assistance from PIPP Plus if the household income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a notification letter telling you whether or not you are eligible for bill payment assistance. If you are eligible, the amount of your benefit will depend on federal funding levels, how many people live with you, total household income, and the primary fuel you
use to heat your home. In most cases, benefits will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company. This is a once a year benefit.
If you are eligible for weatherization services, your application will be obtainable by the agency providing services in your area. The types of assistance you receive will be based on your home’s energy efficiency. If you live in federally subsidized housing and have a utility bill in your name, you may be eligible for assistance.
Residents of any licensed medical facility (hospital, skilled nursing facility, or intermediate care facility) or publicly operated community residence (example: YMCA) are ineligible. Boarding/rooming houses, group homes, or emergency shelters are ineligible for payment assistance, but may be eligible for weatherization services. All persons who share a common kitchen or bath are considered members of the same household and must apply on one application.
PERCENTAGE OF INCOME PAYMENT PlAN Plus (PIPP Plus)
PIPP Plus is a special payment plan that requires eligible customers to pay a portion of their household income each month to maintain utility service. PIPP Plus protects customers from disconnection, as long as they follow the
program’s rules about monthly payments. All gas and electric companies regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) must offer this plan to their customers. PIPP Plus is not available to customers of rural electric co-ops, municipal utilities, or users of delivered fuels. The utility bill must be in the name of the PIPP Plus applicant. The first PIPP Plus installment must be paid upon enrollment in order to receive the arrearage credit.
HOME WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (HWAP)
HWAP is a federally-funded, low-income residential energy efficiency program that reduces the energy use of qualified households. HWAP services include attic, wall, and basement insulation; air leakage reduction; heating system repairs or replacements; electric base load measures that address lighting and appliance efficiency; and health and safety inspections and testing. Services are based on the structure and energy use of the home. HWAP is administered locally by community action, social service, and local government agencies.
Household income is defined as the gross income of all household members, except wage or salary income earned by dependent minors under 18 years of age. Heads of household and spouses may never be considered as minors. Gross income includes, but is not limited to, wages (excluding documented health insurance premiums), interest, annuities, pensions, Social Security (excluding Medicare premiums), retirement, employment disability, public assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), alimony, child support, unemployment benefits, Workers’ Compensation, and any other indirect income such as utility allowances. Other exclusions may apply if documented. Visit energyhelp.ohio.gov for a list of all included and excluded income.
CONTACT INFORMATION: For questions regarding energy:
See www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or
E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or
For the hearing impaired only: 1-800-686-1557
Other Onlinge Resources:
Office of the Ohio Consumer's Counsel: http://www.pickocc.org/publications/factsheets-assistance.shtml
Information about Ohio's utility assistance programs including PIPP, HEAP, energy, and telephone assistance.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO): http://puco.ohio.gov/puco
This article is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice.Prepared by Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. Updated May 2012. CE-07-F048-CLAS