Ohio Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program (HEAP) kicks off July 1

Program offers low-income and elderly residents assistance paying energy bills, buying/repairing air conditioners, etc.
Program offers low-income and elderly residents assistance paying energy bills,...
Program offers low-income and elderly residents assistance paying energy bills, buying/repairing air conditioners, etc.(WTVG)
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 4:20 PM EDT
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LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - As temperatures begin to soar across Northwest Ohio, electric bills are skyrocketing with them. Starting July 1, 2021, there’s a resource aimed at helping cool down Ohioans and their pocketbooks. It’s called the Home Energy Summer Crisis Program (HEAP). The program is designed to assist low-income households in paying their electric bills in the summer. There is also a winter version of the program as well. During the summer, fans and air conditions may also be provided to those with qualifying medical conditions. The Summer Crisis Program runs July 1- September 30.

“We are helping them financially to be able to maintain those services,” said Claudia Rodriguez-Salazar, Director of Emergency & Empowerment Services at Pathway Toledo. The organization aims to reduce poverty by providing services across the community. They also help organize the HEAP initiative across the Greater Toledo area. Customers using regulated utilities (like Toledo Edison) can receive up to $500. Customers of unregulated utilities (municipal utilities or cooperatives) can receive up to $800. Air conditioners and/or fans will only be provided to those who have not received a unit in the last three years from Pathway.

“We care about our community,” said Rodriguez-Salazar. “There are very grateful individuals, and we are blessed to be here to be able to provide that service.”

To qualify, Lucas County households must have a gross income at or below 175% poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. They must also meet one of the eligibility guidelines below:

  • Household member age 60+
  • Household member with documented medical conditions verified by a licensed medical professional (qualified under Ohio State Law to write prescriptions)
  • Household member diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 12 months
  • Household member(s) electric utility has a disconnect notice, has been shut off, or new electric service is being established for the household
  • Household member is enrolling in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP) are eligible for assistance towards their default PIPP payment, or first PIPP payment

So how do you apply? You must call the HEAP hotline to make an appointment: 567-803-0010. Hours are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 am-6:00 pm, and Fridays from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Please remain on the line for your confirmation number and appointment details. The walk-in process is on Wednesdays and Thursdays only.

“We’re here to help, and don’t need to struggle alone,” added Rodriguez-Salazar. “There are helping hands.”

To reach out to Pathway Toledo, you can visit their website or call 419-242-7304.

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