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Assistance with energy bills from AEP in Ohio.

Several crisis and disconnection prevention programs are offered by AEP Ohio. Or the energy company can refer low income families to various government utility bill assistance programs or non-profit agencies. The bottom line is that working poor as well as struggling customers of AEP have several resources available to them when they are faced with a hardship, and find how to apply below.

AEP Ohio payment extensions and arrangements

These agreements are offered for qualified customers who have a disconnection notice, or who are faced with a short term crisis. People who are struggling to pay their utility bills on time also have options available to them. Basically the energy company wants to work with individuals to provide them a little extra time to pay their electric bills when needed. You will need to speak to a customer service representative from AEP Ohio, and the company can be reached at 1-877-237-2886. They will work with you to determine if you qualify for any financial assistance or these payment extensions.

Dollar Energy Fund and the Neighbor to Neighbor Program. Qualified low income families may be able to receive a grant for paying their utility bills. The program is intended to help limited-income customers either maintain or restore their AEP Ohio basic electric service, and to keep current with their bills. The Neighbor to Neighbor Program is administered by the regional non-profit organization known as Dollar Energy Fund. The organization is committed to helping people who are experiencing financial hardships and who need some form of assistance to help them get back on their feet and current with bills.

There are income limits for the AEP Neighbor to Neighbor Program. Applicants will need to have an income level that is at or below 200% of the Federal Government Poverty Income Guidelines. Also, this is not a charity program, and all applying customers need to have made a sincere effort of payment on their AEP Ohio energy bill in the past. In general, they need to have made at least $150 payment in the last 90 days, however there may be a few exemptions made to this rule for senior citizens.

Crisis Response Fund oversees weatherization and electric bill assistance for AEP customers. There are conditions that need to be met, including eligibility for the crisis fund needs to be between 176 percent and 200 percent of federal government poverty guidelines. AEP Ohio customers can learn whether they are eligible for the heating and energy assistance program by contacting their Ohio Department of Development's Home Energy Assistance Program at 1-800-282-0880, or call local community action agency or AEP for referrals.




State of Ohio and federal government aid

Three of the primary resources are Ohio PIPP Plus, weatherization and LIHEAP.

The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) is offered across the state, regardless of your electric or utility company. This government mandated service will make monthly payments on your regular bills, and therefore your entire account, will become more affordable on a year-round basis. This can also address past unpaid bills.

What will happen is if the household is qualified and enrolled in PIPP Plus, and if the individual pays the monthly PIPP Plus payment on-time and in-full, the customer’s account will be credited as well. This will eliminate the remaining balance of unpaid bills on their account over time. So PIPP Plus provides relief to AEP Ohio customers going forward, and also on their past bills. To apply or learn more, call the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at 1-800-686-7826 or the Ohio Department of Development at 1-800-282-0880.

Government Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is run by non-profit and private community-based organizations. AEP Ohio works with a number of local and federal organizations that provide LIHEAP to low-income residents across the service territory.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is paid for by the federal government, but manly helps lower income families, seniors, and those who spend a large amount of their income towards paying their heating bills. Grants can help pay bills, or some people will be given a credit. In either case, the program can help stop a disconnection in a crisis. Dial your local community action agency in Ohio.

Weatherization Services are available for low income customers who live on fixed or low incomes. The household may be eligible to receive repair services or weatherization assistance through the gridSMART Community Assistance Program. There are other conservation services available too.





Contact for AEP assistance programs in Ohio

You will need to call your local community based agency to apply, or always feel free to dial 800-672-2231 to reach AEP Ohio. They can refer people to a local community action agency or non-profit. Note, in order to benefit from Weatherization, you must be approved for an energy bill assistance program such as HWAP, PIPP, or HEAP.


By Jon McNamara

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