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.
PROGRAM DATES: October 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024
The Community Action Council of Portage County wishes to announce the availability of its draft Two Year Budget and Work Plan for Calendar Years 2024 and 2025 under the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) for public review and comment. CSBG funding is used by the CAC to provide core funding for a wide variety of agency-operated programs designed to impact on poverty in Portage County and will be submitted to the Ohio Department of Development in November 2023. We estimate that we will provide services roughly 25,000 families for 2024 and 2025. CSBG funds facilitate the provision of services in a wide variety of areas, including utility assistance and weatherization, other energy conservation and efficiency services, emergency home repair, rent and homeowner assistance, youth and after school services, technology training and testing, summer food services for children, and others. Any individual wishing to review the application may contact the agency’s administrative offices @ (330) 297-1456, by visiting the offices located at 1036 West Main Street in Ravenna, Ohio, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, or by contacting the agency via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The CSBG application will provide estimated funding to the agency approximating $325,138 per year for the period January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025 but is subject to congressional actions which may dramatically change current and future funding.
Community Action Council of Portage County (CAC) is still accepting appointments and call-ins for the Summer Crisis Program (SCP). The program runs through September 30th, and may be able to assist households with a portion of their electric bill and provide a window air conditioner and/or fan to help with summer heat.
To be eligible, households must be at or below 175% of poverty, and meet one of the following criteria:
CAC will continue to have call-ins Monday through Thursday mornings starting at 8am. Call-ins are limited and will be first come first serve until all available appointments have been filled for the day. These appointments go very quickly and are generally filled by 8:30am.
To determine eligibility, you will be required to provide the following documents:
You do not need an appointment to apply for HEAP and PIPP, or to re-verify PIPP. You can visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov to start an online application. You can also print out an application fill it out and drop it in our drop box with all required documents at 1036 West Main St, Ravenna.
Portage County residents can get on the call-in schedule by calling 330-297-1456 ext 0. If you would like to speak to someone, call 330-297-1456 and press 1 for HEAP. At this time scheduled appointments are booked through September 30th, however if there are cancellations, appointments may become available. To check appointment availability call our toll free appointment line 234-703-4303.