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Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus)

PIPP Plus logo

The new and improved Percentage of Income Payment Plan, PIPP Plus, makes monthly payments more affordable on a year-round basis. And, when a PIPP Plus household pays the monthly PIPP Plus payment on-time and in-full, some of their old debt and the rest of that month's bill goes away in the form of a credit on their utility account.

Do all gas and electric companies in Ohio offer PIPP Plus?

No. Small gas companies are not required to offer PIPP Plus. Brainard Gas, Ohio Cumberland Gas, Orwell Natural Gas Company, Sheldon Gas Company and Waterville Gas and Oil Company continue to offer the original PIPP program to existing PIPP customers but are not enrolling new PIPP customers. Ohio Gas, Eastern Natural Gas, Pike Natural Gas, and Southeastern Natural Gas offer a slightly different version of PIPP Plus. Because Duke Energy Ohio is a combination gas and electric company, it also offers a slightly different version of PIPP Plus. If you are a customer of one of these companies, call your company to learn more.

How do I know if I am income eligible for PIPP Plus?

Households with a gross yearly household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible to participate in PIPP Plus.

How do I sign up for PIPP Plus?

Contact your local energy assistance program provider. You may also enroll in PIPP Plus by completing the Energy Assistance Program application and mailing it to the Ohio Department of Development. You must provide proof of your gross monthly household income for at least the last three months. To find your local energy assistance program provider or to obtain an application, please call (800) 282-0880 or visit http://www.development.ohio.gov/files/is/HEAPApp.pdf.

Do I have to pay a deposit when I sign up for PIPP Plus?

No. There are no deposits for PIPP Plus households. If you paid a deposit in the past, that amount will be used to reduce any debt you owe the utility company.

What will my monthly payment be?

Natural gas: $10 or 6 percent of your gross monthly household income each month, whichever is greater.

Electric: $10 or 6 percent of your gross monthly household income each month, whichever is greater.

All-electric homes: $10 or 10 percent of your gross monthly household income each month, whichever is greater.

Isn't this amount greater than the amount I used to pay under the old electric PIPP?

The year-round six percent payment is more than the three percent or five percent payment that you used to pay during the winter months. However, you now pay the PIPP Plus amount year-round instead of paying the actual monthly bill in the summer and the PIPP Plus amount in the winter. So, in most cases, over the course of a year, you will pay less with the new 6 percent payment.

When is my first PIPP Plus payment due?

Your first payment is due when you enroll in PIPP Plus. If you are unable to pay at enrollment, the installment can be added to your next monthly bill, but you will be billed for two payments. You will also lose the arrearage credit for the first month.

Do I have to make a monthly payment if I am a zero income customer?

Yes. You are required to pay a $10 minimum monthly payment for both natural gas and electric. For electric, the $10 payment may be waived for up to 180 days.

When do I pay the PIPP Plus amount and when do I pay the current amount due?

For both gas and electric, you pay your income-based PIPP Plus payment amount, or, if you are zero income, the minimum $10 payment every month of the year.

What are the new benefits of paying my PIPP Plus amount on-time and in-full?

When PIPP Plus payments are made on-time and in-full, customers earn an incentive credit and an arrearage credit. Each time you pay your required monthly payment on-time and in-full, you no longer owe the rest of that month's billed amount. You also receive a 1/24 credit toward any old debt. If you make full, on-time payments for 24 straight months, all of your arrearages will be eliminated.

Are fees assessed for late payments?

No, but you will not receive the incentive or arrearage crediting benefits that come from paying your PIPP Plus payment amount on-time and in-full.

What must I do to remain on PIPP Plus?

Natural gas: Every 12 months you must provide proof that your gross monthly household income is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level to remain a PIPP Plus customer. At that time, you must also make up any PIPP Plus payments that you missed over the past 12 months. You will have one billing cycle to make up those payments, or you will be removed from PIPP Plus, and your entire bill balance will become due. At that time, your utility may offer you an extended payment plan to help you avoid disconnection.

Electric: To remain a PIPP Plus customer, you must provide proof of your gross monthly household income at least every 12 months. If you do not provide proof of income you will be removed from PIPP Plus, and your entire bill balance will become due. At that time, your utility may offer you an extended payment plan to help you avoid disconnection. 

What is the difference between my PIPP Plus anniversary date and reverification date?

The anniversary date is the calendar date when your arrearage credits are calculated. Natural gas customers must be current on any missed PIPP Plus payments by this date. Your anniversary date is the same every year.

The reverification date is the actual date on which you complete documentation of your household income. Reverification must occur no more than 12 months from the previous reverification date. Since the customer is required to reverify any change in household size and income, the customer's reverification date may change from year to year.

If I am dropped from PIPP Plus for failure to make up missed natural gas payments by the anniversary date or for failure to make electric payments, what must I do to be re-enrolled in the program?

You must make up all missed payments that you owed when you were dropped from PIPP Plus. In addition, you must pay your bills for current monthly service for those months that you were not enrolled in PIPP Plus.

Can I re-enroll in PIPP Plus if I am removed for failure to prove that I am income-eligible?

Yes. You may re-enroll as long as you still meet the income requirements. To do so, you must provide proof of income, and you must first pay all missed PIPP Plus payments. In addition, natural gas PIPP Plus customers are responsible for paying their actual bill amount for the months that they were not enrolled on PIPP Plus.

Can I remain on PIPP Plus if I am disconn­ected for non-payment?

Yes. You may remain on PIPP Plus as long as you still meet the income requirements. To do so, you must first pay all missed PIPP Plus payments.

What is my responsibility for reporting changes in my household income?

You must report any change in your household income to your local community action agency. If your household income has gone down, the amount you must pay each month will also go down. If your household income goes up, the amount that you must pay each month will also go up. If your household income goes up so much that you are no longer income-eligible, help is still available.

What are my options if I become income ineligible for PIPP Plus?

Natural gas: Customers who become income ineligible for PIPP Plus, but are current on their PIPP Plus payment, will be placed on Graduate PIPP Plus. This new program provides customers with a 12-month transition from PIPP Plus to full payments. Under Graduate PIPP Plus, customers pay an average of their most recent PIPP Plus amount and a budget billing amount calculated by their utility. Graduate PIPP Plus customers who make payments on-time and in-full will continue to receive credits toward their monthly bill balance and a 1/12 credit to their old debt. Some small gas companies are not required to offer Graduate PIPP Plus.

Electric: The electric transition and arrearage crediting program provides customers with a 12 month transition from PIPP Plus to full payments. Under the Electric Graduate PIPP Plus program, customers pay either an average of their most recent PIPP Plus amount and a budget billing amount calculated by their utility, or a regular budget payment or the cost of the electric service billed each month. Electric Graduate PIPP Plus customers who make payments on-time and in-full will continue to receive credits toward their monthly bill balance and a 1/12 credit to their old debt.

What if I no longer have natural gas service with the same company?

If your natural gas account is closed, and you still owe money to the natural gas company and need help paying off your debt, contact the company to set up payment arrangements.

What if I decide to stop participating in PIPP Plus even though I still qualify?

You may request to be taken off PIPP Plus at any time. Simply contact your utility company. At this time, you may be placed on Graduate PIPP Plus for 12 months. To participate, you must be current on all PIPP Plus payments. Some small gas companies are not required to offer Graduate PIPP Plus.

Can I participate in customer choice and PIPP Plus at the same time?

No. If you are participating in a customer choice program, and then become eligible for and participate in PIPP Plus, you will automatically be switched to the utility. If you were under a contract with a marketer, they may assess an early termination fee if you switch to PIPP Plus before your contract expires.