The Ohio Department of Development and Community Action Council of Portage County want to ensure Ohioans stay warm and comfortable this winter by helping alleviate the burden of costly energy bills.
From Nov. 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024, income-eligible Ohioans can receive one-time assistance with their home energy bill through the Department of Development’s Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program.
The Winter Crisis Program assists Ohioans facing service disconnection, have been disconnected, need to establish new service, need to pay to transfer service, have a Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) default, need to make their first PIPP payment, or have 25 percent or less supply of bulk fuel in their tank to maintain service. Qualifying households must have a gross annual income of at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that is up to $52,500.
Last year, the Winter Crisis Program assisted more than 67,000 households in Ohio, providing a total of $19 million in benefits.
“A warm and comfortable home should not be a luxury only some people can afford,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “This program does more than just provide financial assistance; it shows some of our most-vulnerable residents that we’re here to lend a helping hand when they need it most.”
Households serviced by a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)-regulated utility must sign up for PIPP or another payment plan if there is still an outstanding balance on the utility bill after receiving assistance.
Ohioans can start their application online but will need to schedule an appointment with their local energy assistance provider to complete the application. All appointments are on the phone. The HEAP/PIPP application and list of providers can be found online at energyhelp.ohio.gov. HEAP benefits are applied to an individual’s energy bill after Jan 1. Ohioans can also call 800-282-0880 to find their local provider. Hearing impaired customers may dial 711 for assistance.
To make an appointment for the Winter Crisis Program, residents can call our 24 hour appointment line at 234-703-4303. We also have minimal same day appointments for residents that have had their services turned off, are in danger of being turned off, or have less than 25% bulk fuel. To make a same day appointment, please call at 8am Monday through Thursday(except Holidays). We will make same day call-in appointments until they are all booked.
Clients need to provide copies of the following documents:
Applications for the HEAP Winter Crisis program must be received by March 31, 2024. The last day to apply for the regular HEAP benefit is May 31, 2024. For more information on the programs, visit energyhelp.ohio.gov or call us at 330-297-1456 HEAP is option 1.