Ohio electric bill assistance is available to lower income households that have experienced a financial emergency. Instead of dealing with disconnections and late fees, you could get help with your power bill and keep the electricity flowing.
While electricity assistance has been available for years, recent additions to Ohio assistance programs have been approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. These enhancements will be available to customers who join the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). PIPP is a special program that eliminates a portion of arrearages (missed payments) with every 12 months of steady payments. You could see a third of your arrearages cancelled with the first 12 months, half of the remaining arrearages eliminated with months 13-24 of steady payments and finally, all arrearages cancelled following no missed payments for months 25-36.
Housewarming, the program that supplies weatherization enhancements to eligible Dominion customers, will receive additional funding of $500,000 annually through 2015. The WarmChoice weatherization program run by Columbia Gas also gets an extra $500,000 a year for 5 years. Dayton customers will benefit from $175,000 a year supplied through Vectren.
Generally, customers must be below 200% of the poverty level in order to qualify for federally funds administered through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). If you qualify, you may be able to get cash applied towards your electric bill through the PIPP program. Customers received an average benefit of $320 (2009 average).
If you have experienced a disconnection of your power during the winter, then you may be able to get it reconnected through the Winter Reconnect Program, which expires on April 15 of each year. Reconnection is made once you pay either what you owe up to $175, plus a $20 reconnection fee. If you owe over $175, that amount is not immediately due. Furthermore, you may be able to receive assistance through the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program to put towards all or part of that $175. Call the Ohio Department of Development at 1-800-282-0880 to check your eligibility and to begin the application process.
Low-Income Rate Assistance matches donations at utility companies with eligible customers that need help with their light bill. Customers of American Electric Power should call 1-800-282-0880 to inquire about assistance through the Crisis Response Fund. Dayton Power & Light customers may call 937-331-3900 or 1-800-433-8500 for PIPP or the Frest Start Program. Duke Energy customers should call 513-421-9500 or 1-800-544-6900 to apply for a $4 monthly credit to offset rate increases. This service is limited to the first 10,000 Duke Energy customers that apply.
You can receive electric bill assistance from one of these Ohio energy providers and avoid the headaches that can come from having your power disconnected. Check with your utility provider or with the Social Services Department in your county for more information.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."