Weather reports indicate that temperatures will reach almost 80 degrees in the coming days. The Bridges Community Action Partnership and the Ohio Development Services Agency want to remind Ohioans that help is available to stay cool during these hot summer days.
The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program runs from July 1 until Aug. 31 and provides eligible Ohioans assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air conditioning repairs. Eligible customers also may receive a portable air conditioner or fan.
The 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. This can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or asthma. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $43,050.
To apply for the program, customers are required to schedule an appointment with Bridges Community Action Partnership. Customers need to bring:
a copy of their most recent energy bill,
a list of all household members and proof of income for the last 90 days for each member
proof of citizenship or legal residency, and
physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health (if there isn’t a household member over the age of 60).
Eligible households can receive up to $300 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $500 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The benefit can be a combination of a portable air conditioner, fan and/or utility assistance. Utility assistance is applied to a customer’s utility bill or applied to central air conditioning repair costs.
Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP Plus) are not eligible for bill payment assistance through the program, but are encouraged to work with Bridges Community Action Partnership to identify other opportunities for assistance.
For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally, contact Shelley Harmon at (937) 404-9203. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 282-0880.
Submitted by Bridges Community Action Partnership (Delaware, Madison, Union, Champaign, Logan, Shelby).