Ken Boldman, Customer Service Representative for AEP, stopped into the local CAO office and presented the check to Robert Walton, executive director of CAO Scioto County.
Qualified families served by AEP will be eligible for immediate help in paying their electric bills, and some families will receive help in lowering their costs for electric power this winter season through a "Crisis Response Fund," and the distribution of home weatherization kits announced Monday by AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power and the Ohio Department of Development.
"Our normal HEAP program is for people up to 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines," Philip McKinney, housing director for CAO Scioto County, said. "AEP is giving us money to assist people from 176 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines."
McKinney said these included people they would ordinarily turn down because they were above the 175 percent level.
"But now they are eligible and we process them using the AEP money instead of the state's Home Energy Assistance Program money," McKinney said. "So if an AEP customer comes in to us with a disconnect notice on their electric and say they have an emergency because they can't pay the bill -- then we process them just like a normal HEAP customer if they are above 175 percent, but below 200 percent -- rather than rejecting them, using the money AEP gave us."
The fund and the weatherization kits will be supported by AEP through an initial contribution of $1 million and will be managed by the Ohio Department of Development.
"The cold winter months are now upon us and with the increasing cost of home heating it is critical that Ohioans are able to adequately and safely heat their homes," Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, director of the ODD said. "We are pleased to partner with AEP Ohio to offer these funds that allow us to help more Ohio families served by AEP pay their electric bills this season."
McKinney said residents may inquire about the assistance and schedule an appointment by calling CAO's regular number (740) 354-7541 between 8-9 a.m. each day.
Residents will be told what to bring with them when they come in.