How to get heating help - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

How to get heating help

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Rising heating bills.  They're a grim reality in the cold and especially noticeable this winter.  Columbia Gas had its second busiest day ever last week.  That demand is split between residential, business and large corporate clients.  The Jeep plant  needs the same amount of gas it would take to warm more than 15,000 homes.  
   Natural gas season has returned to Ohio and Michigan, this time with a vengeance.  As bills pile up in the new year, some face gas shut-offs in the coldest air in twenty years.  Chris Kozak from Columbia Gas says there are answers... If you ask. 

"As soon as you are concerned that you may not be able to pay your gas bill, you're falling behind. You should contact Columbia Gas. We've got a number of different programs available. A number of programs available in the community to make sure that if you can't pay your bill, lets get some help, there's programs available out there."

If you need help paying your utilities, this is a good first place to start.  The United Way or 211.  Another program is PIPP Plus, it's percentage of income payment plan plus.  You pay a fixed cost for your gas and electricity and you qualify by meeting federal poverty levels.

"So we see about 55,000 homes in Lucas County qualify for these programs.  About half to less than half actually utilize these programs.  There's a lot of assistance out there, lot of folks in need, want to make sure those people get together and make sure that they can be comfortable and warm this winter."

For the Columbia Gas crews, taking the season off isn't an option.


"The cold weather doesn't stop us.  We're responding to everything as we would if this were a 80 degree June day.  It may take us a little longer with some of the weather, but we're responding to everything as we would."

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