COAD will distribute the funds to HEAP agencies throughout the company's Ohio service territory, and the agency will use the funds to help HEAP-qualified customers who are struggling to pay their electric bills.
"They need to go to their local Human Services Agency that handles the Home Energy Assistance Program," said Jeff Rennie of AEP Ohio Corporate Communications.
The most common HEAP program is the one most area residents deal with during the winter months.
"We do the HEAP that is not the Emergency HEAP, the one that you mail into Columbus," said Lorna Garlinger of USSA. "Esther Schwamberger, who is our outreach representative, helps fill out the application. She goes into the home if they need help, or they can come down here, and she has sign-ups at different places."
Garlinger said the individual sign-up places regularly are sent to media outlets.
"Emergency HEAP is over at Community Action, and you have to have 10 percent or less of fuel when you apply," she said.
AEP Ohio is providing the $100,000 to those who fall within the guidelines as a part of an initiative supported at the statehouse level.
"As a leading energy provider in Ohio, AEP Ohio supports Gov. (Ted) Strickland in recognizing the economic challenges that many of our customers are facing this winter," said AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph Hamrock. "While we currently offer payment plans and help customers find various assistance programs, this commitment is warranted to ensure that everything possible is being done to help those Ohio customers most in need."
HEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Department of Development-Office of Community Service, and is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high cost of home heating.
According to HEAP guidelines, a one-time payment for Public Utilities Commission of Ohio regulated utility customers is made for the winter heating season.
Hamrock said AEP Ohio encourages customers to contact the company at the first sign of payment difficulty to learn about the payment and assistance programs available through the company and other local agencies.
According to a U.S. Census study dealing with the year 2005, a quarter of the Scioto County population is living at or below the federal poverty level.
In the latest figures released by the U.S. Census, Scioto County is shown to have a poverty level of 25.3 percent, compared to 18.9 percent in 2004.
Hamrock said AEP Ohio can be reached toll free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (800) 277-2177, or by visiting www.aepohio.com.
USSA Inc., is located at 117 Market St., in Portsmouth, or can be reached by calling (740) 354-6672.
People in need of the Emergency Energy Assistance Program, may call Community Action Organization of Scioto County at (740) 354-7541.
HEAP maximum eligibility requirements include: