Beginning July 1, the Ohio Development Services Agency and CAO of Scioto County will help income-eligible Ohioans maintain their utility service through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program. The program helps eligible Ohioans pay an electric bill, purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. This year, the program will run from July 1 until September 30, 2020.
“This year, we’ve extended the length of the program and expanded eligibility requirements so we can help more Ohioans during this health crisis,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency said. “We’re working with CAO of Scioto County every day to help Ohioans in need.”
In 2019 more than 500 families in Scioto County were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program.
Scioto County HEAP staff believe many households in Scioto County may be eligible for the Summer Crisis Program this year due to a change in eligibility guidelines and households that have lost income due to COVID-19.
The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health. Examples of conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, asthma, etc. This year, households that were diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020, have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, or are trying to establish new service on their electric bill are also eligible for assistance.
Ohioans can visit energyhelp.ohio.gov to start their application prior to their required appointment. This year appointments can be held over the phone or in person at Scioto County Community Action Organization. To schedule an appointment call, 740-354-7541.
Eligible households can receive up to $500 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $800 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives. The assistance is applied to their utility bill, or to purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $45,850.00.
Also new this year, Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP) who meet the above criteria may be eligible for assistance towards their default PIPP payment, first PIPP payment, central air conditioning repairs, or may receive an air conditioning unit and/or fan.
For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally and what is needed to apply, contact CAO HEAP at 740-354-7541. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 282-0880.