Utility Assistance Available for Low Income Residents

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Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521; mlmadigan@cuyahogacounty.us 
Kathie Sizemore: (216) 881-4413; kathleen.sizemore@jfs.ohio.gov 

Home Energy Assistance Program now accepting applications

- The Ohio Development Services Agency and Cuyahoga County are helping income-eligible Ohioans maintain their utility service through the Home Energy Assistance (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program. The program helps eligible Ohioans pay an electric bill, purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. The program runs from July 1 through Sept. 30.

“This year, we’ve extended the length of the program and expanded eligibility requirements so we can help more Ohioans during this health crisis,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency said. “We’re working with Cuyahoga County every day to help Ohioans in need.”

In 2019, over 600 older adults contacted DSAS with utility assistance requests. “The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health,” said Danette Allums, Program Director for DSAS’ Information Services unit. “Examples of conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma.”

This year, households that were diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020, have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, or are trying to establish new service on their electric bill are also eligible for assistance.

Households can receive up to $500 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $800 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. Also new this year, County residents enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP) who meet the criteria may be eligible for assistance towards their default PIPP payment, first PIPP payment, central air conditioning repairs, or may receive an air conditioning unit and/or fan.

To be eligible for the program, an applicant’s household income must fall below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Older adults age 60 and over and their caregivers can learn more about the HEAP Summer Crisis Program eligibility requirements by contacting DSAS at 216-420-6700.