Winter Reconnect Order

Winter Reconnect Order

Winter Reconnect OrderReconnect or avoid disconnection

Ohio’s electric and natural gas customers have the opportunity to use the Winter Reconnect Order (WRO) during the winter heating season from October 18, through April 15, to reconnect or to avoid disconnection of their utilities. The WRO applies only to Ohio’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities and does not apply to municipally-owned utilities or rural electric co-ops.

To use the Winter Reconnect Order, contact your utility company. For information on payment plans and other bill-paying assistance, contact your utility and your local Community Action Agency.

  • The order allows any electric or natural gas customer of an investor-owned utility to avoid disconnection or to reconnect their service for $175, even if the customer owes more and cannot afford to pay the entire balance.
  • If reconnection charges apply, customers may also be charged up to $36 at the time of reconnection. If the reconnection fee is greater than $36, the customer may have the balance of the fee applied to the next month’s bill.
  • Customers owing more than $175 will then need to make payment arrangements with the utility for the rest of their past due amount. For some customers this may include enrolling in Ohio’s Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus).
  • For the 2021-2022 winter heating season, elibible PIPP Plus customers with past due amounts greater than $175 may be able to have any remaining unpaid balance placed in their PIPP arrearage. For more information, contact the local community action agency.
  • The WRO can also be used by consumers wishing to establish new service. If charged a security deposit by the natural gas or electric utility company that exceeds $175, customers can pay $175 and be charged the remainder of the deposit on their next month’s bill.

No income restrictions

The WRO does not have any income restrictions. If a customer is eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) which is based on 175% of the federal poverty guidelines, they may be able to use the HEAP Winter Crisis Program to secure the $175 required to maintain or restore their utility service under the WRO rules.

  • Consumers may only use the WRO once during the winter heating season as defined above.
  • If both the gas and electric utilities are in disconnect status (disconnected or with a disconnect notice) the customer may use their one-time use of the WRO to apply to both utilities, splitting the $175 between the two.

Speak with a representative of the utility company or your local community action agency before using the WRO to ensure that the utility understands the $175 payment is being used in accordance with the WRO. Otherwise it is possible that the money may be applied to a customer’s past due account without receiving the benefit and protection of the WRO.

If a customer is using the HEAP Winter Crisis Program, the community action agency will coordinate with the utility. To find the community action agency in your area, select ‘Find a local provider’ at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or call 1-800-282-0880. If a customer is not working through the community action agency and they would like someone to assist them in talking to their utility company, customers can call the PUCO at 1-800-686-7826.

Contact the utility:

  • AES Ohio (formerly Dayton Power & Light)
    1-800-433-8500
     
  • American Electric Power
    1-800-544-6900
     
  • CenterPoint Energy (formerly Vectren Energy Delivery)
    1-800-227-1376
     
  • Cleveland Electric Illuminating
    1-800-589-3101
     
  • Columbia Gas of Ohio
    1-800-344-4077
     
  • Dominion East Ohio
    1-800-362-7557
     
  • Duke Energy Ohio
    1-800-672-2231
     
  • Ohio Edison
    1-800-633-4766
     
  • Toledo Edison
    1-800-477-3333
     

 

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If you need multiple copies for an organization or group, please contact a member of our outreach team.