For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Schilling
(614) 466 7750
PUCO and ODSA remind Ohioans that heating assistance is available
COLUMBUS, OH (Nov. 17, 2014) – The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) want to remind Ohioans that assistance is available if you have been disconnected or are threatened with disconnection from your utility service.
The Winter Crisis Program, a component of the Home Energy Assistance Program, provides assistance to eligible households that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected or have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel. The gross income of eligible households must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $41,737.50.
Individuals interested in receiving Winter Crisis assistance must have a face-to-face interview at their Winter Crisis Program provider. A list of providers by county can be found here.
Ohioans also can call the ODSA toll-free hotline at (800) 282-0880, Monday through Friday (hearing impaired customers may dial (800) 686-1557 for assistance) or visit energyhelp.ohio.gov for more information.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s Winter Reconnect Order allows residential customers the opportunity to have their service restored or maintained by paying the amount due or $175, whichever is less. If the customer’s service has already been disconnected, the customer must pay the $175 and possibly a reconnection fee of no more than $36 to restore service. Customers may use the program once during the winter heating season between Oct. 20, 2014 and April 15, 2015.
There is no income eligibility requirement or sign-up required for the Winter Reconnect Order.
There are several other state and federal programs available to assist those who qualify. The PUCO suggests that customers explore all options including PIPP Plus, HEAP and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). More information about these programs and additional ways to save on home heating bills this winter is available at Ohio’s Winter Heating Resource website www.winterheat.ohio.gov. Visitors to this site will also find information about budget billing, energy choice and energy conservation.
Customers who have questions about the PUCO Winter Reconnect Order may contact the PUCO at 1-800-686-PUCO (7826).
ODSA Contact: Penny Martin at (614) 644-8774, Penny.Martin@development.ohio.gov
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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