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CONNECT TO | Programs & Benefits
July 2010
 

HEAP Summer Crisis Program Begins July 1
Up to $175 Available for Eligible Households

Funding to assist eligible households with summer cooling costs through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program is available July 1 through Aug. 31, 2010. More than 42,000 Ohio families and senior citizens were assisted through the program last year.

The HEAP Summer Crisis Program, administered by the Ohio Department of Development and its local agency partners, provides assistance to low-income households with an elderly member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health. These households are eligible for electric bill payment assistance of up to $175. For many eligible customers, $175 will cover one month's electric bill. Residents are encouraged to work with their local community action agency, job and family services offices and faith-based organizations for additional assistance.

The gross income of eligible households must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

2009-2010 Income Guidelines
Size of
Household
Gross Annual
Household Income
1 $21,660
2 $29,140
3 $36,620
4 $44,100
5 $51,580
6 $59,060
7 $66,540
8 $74,020
For households with more than eight members, add $7,480 per member

Contact your local Community Action Agency (CAA) to find out how it is going to administer the program locally. CAAs may choose to use the funds to purchase fans or air conditioners for consumers, provide consumers with cash or some combination. Consumers will need to make an appointment to visit their CAA; however, some agencies provide in-home assistance for homebound individuals.

CAAs also can help consumers learn about the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus program that begins November 1. PIPP Plus standardizes year-round payments, making it easier for consumers to budget. This helps consumers get rid of old utility debt and avoid accruing new debt.

For more information, call the toll-free HEAP hotline at 1-800-282-0880 (TTY 1-800-686-1557) or visit the Home Energy Assistance page of the Ohio Department of Development Web site.

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Programs & Benefits

Home Energy Audit Available to Help Cut Energy Costs
Columbia Gas of Ohio is offering their natural gas customers a home energy audit for $50.00 ($20 for income-eligible customers). The cost of the audit is reimbursed when you make any qualified energy efficiency improvements. The comprehensive audit includes a visit from a home energy auditor who will analyze your home to identify ways you can improve your home's energy efficiency, which may include attic and wall insulation upgrades, sealing cracks, gaps and holes, a programmable thermostat or an energy-efficient showerhead. The more qualified energy efficiency improvements you make, the more you save with rebates of up to 60 percent off the cost of the work. Call 1-877-644-6674 to schedule an audit.

Benefits Outreach: What Works
The National Council on Aging is launching a new publication series to spotlight successful strategies that help vulnerable older adults get benefits. First in the series is What Works: Massachusetts Senior Benefits Expos, co-authored with the National Association of State Units on Aging.