Low income assistance programs for paying heating bills are available to residents of the Cleveland Ohio region. Resources, non-profits, and government programs also provide help to people in nearby towns and cities, including Akron, and services are really extended to all of Summit and Cuyahoga County.
The HeatShare Program, which is also commonly called EnergyShare, is a crisis program offered by the Salvation Army in Ohio. It generally runs during the winter months of January to May, but funding may run out earlier. Low income families in Cleveland and other regions may qualify for a one time grant for their gas or heating bills. Many Dominion East Ohio customers turn to this program. Eligibility for any aid is based strictly upon need and doesn’t necessarily follow government assistance guidelines, so more moderate income people may enroll.
The Spanish American Committee works with local agencies, charities, and non-profits. The organization is advocate for the Spanish speaking community in the Cleveland and Akron area. They assist customers in finding cash funds or grants through Cuyahoga and Summit County agencies. The Spanish American Committee only offers referrals and guidance and help in applying for resources. Call 216-961-2100.
Social service and community action agencies in Ohio offer the federal government HEAP program. This is a US government energy program that provides cash assistance for low-income families for their heating bills. Certain federal government poverty guidelines are in place and need to be met. Any assistance paid out will depend on the type of fuel you use to heat your home, your income, the amount of aid given to Cuyahoga County, and number of family members.
If you have less than a ten-day supply of heating fuel or oil, or are faced with a shut off, call your Cleveland social service office or community action agency to inquire about the Winter Crisis Program. A onetime emergency grant may be paid out. Sometimes money can even pay for the repairs or replacement of your furnace or boiler. This program runs until March 31.
Some Ohio gas, electric and energy companies provide customers with Extended Payment Plans during the winter. It allows customers additional time to either pay their bills or restore their service. Usually a customer will need to pay a portion of the heating bill in order to qualify, and they then need to remain current with their payments going forward. Call the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at 800 686-7826.
Consumer Protection Association is based in Cleveland and can be reached at 216-881-3434. The non-profit can help people enter into payment plans, assist consumers with understanding their rights and any state laws, and can also advise consumers on various assistance programs and benefits.
The Winter Reconnect Program can help people threatened with disconnection, or may assist someone if their power has already been turned off. Program participants can pay the lesser of what they owe on their account, or $175. A reconnection fee of $36 may also be due. Families in Cleveland can only apply once per winter, and is offered from October to March.
The Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services can help families with children under the age of 18. Provided they meet guidelines, families may qualify for emergency heating and energy bill assistance. The benefit can only be paid at most once every 13 months, and is only offered in a crisis. Some of the qualifying situations that need to be met by applicants include the lack of heat or power must threaten the health, safety or decent living arrangements of a Cleveland area family. Phone (216) 698-2875.
PIPP Plus is offered by all companies, including Cleveland Public Power and Duke Energy. Qualified low-income customers who heat with natural gas pay at most 6 percent of their monthly income to their natural gas or electric company for their bills. If you make your payments on time, the program may even slowly eliminate any past due balance on your account over 24 months. Call 1-800-282-0880, or ask about this at your local communication action agency.
Cleveland Housing Network supports all of Cuyahoga County, and they are a leading non-profit to call for information or applications for heating bill assistance. Call (216) 774-2351. The EHEAP program funding will change from year to year. Sometimes it can pay up to $750 per winter heating season, depending on whether you use propane, natural gas, coal, or wood. Any type of payment is sent directly to your energy company and will be reflected on your account within 90 days. Either your electric or natural gas service or both must have been disconnected or threatened.
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