AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program Accepting Applications for Winter Heating Assistance


Staff report



The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program will begin accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2019-2020 winter heating season on November 1, 2019. Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, and Dollar Energy Fund, eligible AEP Ohio customers who need help during the winter months may apply for assistance to maintain or restore their electric service.

Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program – one of the largest in the country – helps eligible families facing an immediate utility crisis. The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program supports families in need with a grant applied directly to their AEP Ohio account to prevent disconnection of, or to restore their electric service. Heating assistance is available once per program year on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible account holders may apply through April 30, 2020, while funds are available.

This year marks 10 years since AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009. The AEP Ohio program has provided more than $13.9 million in assistance to more than 58,500 customers during this time.

“Ohio winters can be brutally cold, very unpredictable, and extremely challenging for many people, especially the elderly and those with health problems,” said Katie Grayem, director of Customer Experience for AEP Ohio. “For many Ohio families, heating their homes during this time can also pose a difficult financial burden. Being a good community partner and neighbor is who we are and what we do, and we are committed to giving our neighbors, who may struggle to make ends meet, a helping hand to ensure their electric service stays connected.”

To apply, customers may contact one of the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program’s network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. To qualify, an applicant’s total gross household income must be at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

For example, a family of four earning up to $64,375 per year is income-eligible for the program. Households must have made payments to AEP Ohio totaling at least $75 in the three months prior to applying for a grant and owe a minimum of $50 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.

“For 10 years, Dollar Energy Fund has been proud to support AEP Ohio’s efforts to serve families who find themselves in a temporary financial situation and need help making ends meet,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund. “The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program has become a very useful resource for thousands of households across Ohio, enabling them to maintain utility service when blindsided by an unexpected expense.”

The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio. Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations also can be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor or by sending a check directly to The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program is used to assist eligible families residing in Ohio. Every dollar donated to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program will be matched by AEP Ohio. These matching funds and 100% of your donation will assist limited-income families residing in Ohio to afford utility service. With AEP Ohio’s generous match, your tax-deductible donation will have twice the impact!

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.

Staff report