Low income families in Ohio can get help with paying their heating bills from the HEAP program. Receive financial assistance in a crisis or ongoing payments from the Home Energy Assistance Program. Many recipients of the financial aid will also be able to receive weatherization services, and this second program will help them conserve energy and save money on their annual utility and heating bills.
While both of the programs are funded by the federal government and the Department of Health and Human Services, the grant money is distributed locally by community action agencies that partner with the Ohio Development Services Agency's Office of Community Assistance. Weatherization and HEAP are the two primary programs for low income families, the disabled, and senior citizens.
The Home Energy Assistance Program, which is also known as HEAP in Ohio, can help low income, working poor, and families faced with poverty pay their heating bills. Qualified individuals will receive a cash grant that is paid directly to their energy provider. A crisis component is also available for those households that are in immediate danger of having their service disconnected or otherwise being without heat.
Households faced with an emergency can apply for a crisis grant. This is generally offered for those households who are without heat during the winter, or who are faced with an imminent disconnection. Some qualifications need to be met, and these include some or all of the following.
The family’s primary heating source needs to be completely shut-off. This is most likely because the heating bills have gone unpaid or the household has run out of fuel. However a crisis grant can also be made available if the applicant’s heating system or furnace has broken and/or is inoperable. From time to time emergency funds may be offered from the Ohio HEAP program when a household is very low or has almost run out of their supply of main heating fuel, whether that be fuel oil, coal, kerosene, propane, propane, or wood.
Your ongoing monthly heating and utility bills can be paid for by the Home Energy Assistance Program. All assistance is provided in the form of a grant, meaning that the customer does not need to repay it. In order to receive help you can rent or own a home, you don’t need to have an unpaid heating bill or be on public assistance. The payment will be sent directly to your fuel provider or utility company, and then your next monthly bill will be credited accordingly.
The program was created help eligible low-income Ohioans, in particular senior citizens and families with young children, pay the high costs of their home heating bills during the cold winter and spring months. The exact amount of assistance paid out to someone who is eligible will vary from year to year. The amount will depend on federal government funding levels. Other factors taken into consideration will be your total household income, the number of people that live with you, and your type of fuel. To learn more, get an application, or to apply, call your local Community Action Agency, County Departments of Job and Family Services, Area Agencies on Aging, or your library. Or dial (800) 282-0880 to reach the hotline.
The Weatherization program will help control and reduce the heavy energy burden that low-income households in Ohio can be faced with. The program is free to income qualified families, and it offers a number of benefits. These include households will save on average $400 per year on their utility bills. The improvements made to your home are permanent and locked in, so people benefit from the savings every year. Also, the program will also improve health and safety by eliminating energy-related hazards that may currently be in your home.
Priority for Weatherization services is given to HEAP cash and crisis recipients as well as low income families who spend a large percentage of their income on their heating bills. The exact services offered include a site-specific energy audit, heating system modification or replacement, installation of wall, basement, attic and crawlspace insulation to reduce energy loss, and free minor home repairs. The average amount spent per household on energy conservation updates is $6,500. All work is done by private contractors trained to State of Ohio qualifications.
Call (800) 282-0880 in order to apply for HEAP, or to get more details on weatherization and other energy conservation programs.
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