Know the Facts: PIPP Plus
The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) is a payment arrangement to help eligible electric and natural gas customers pay their utility bills.
PIPP Plus Benefits
Instead of paying for the actual amount of electric or natural gas used, PIPP Plus customers pay a percentage of their income. They are billed five percent of the household’s monthly income for electric and/or natural gas service. PIPP Plus customers in all-electric homes are billed ten percent of their monthly income. The minimum PIPP Plus payment is $10.
Customers are not responsible for the difference between the actual bill and the PIPP amount if the full PIPP Plus payment is made by the due date each month. Additionally, any outstanding balance on the account will receive a 1/24th credit with that on-time and in full payment.
New PIPP Plus customers do not pay a security deposit and are not assessed late fees.
Who is Eligible?
Customers of participating PUCO-regulated, electric or natural gas utilities with household income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level (see chart) qualify. Income is based on either the last 30 days or past 12 months. Customers need an active utility account in his or her name and must apply for energy assistance and weatherization programs they are eligible for, such as the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP).
Applying for PIPP Plus
To apply for PIPP Plus, customers should schedule an appointment with their local Community Action Agency (CAA). Customers may apply for PIPP Plus year-round. Customers will need to complete an application at the CAA, and bring:
- A photo ID;
- A list of all household members;
- Copies of your most recent utility bills; and
- Proof of income for all household members 18 or older for at least the past 30 days. (12 months proof of income may be required. Check with the CAA prior to the appointment.)
Countable income includes: wages, alimony, disability, most pensions, Social Security, Social Security Disability, unemployment benefits, utility assistance, Ohio Works First and workers compensation, cash withdrawals from investments, lump sum payouts and interest income. Proof of income is required.
For a complete list of income that is counted, or to locate a local CAA, contact the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) at 1-800-282-0880 or www.energyhelp.ohio.gov.
Staying on PIPP Plus
To remain on PIPP Plus, customers must:
- Make on-time, in-full payments each month;
- Report any changes in income or household size within 30 days;
- Reverify eligibility annually by their Reverification Date (see below); and
- Make up any missed payments by their Anniversary Date (date the customer enrolled in the program).
Both the Reverification and Anniversary Dates are printed on the bill. The Reverification Date may change, but the Anniversary Date remains the same.
Reverifying PIPP Plus
To remain on PIPP Plus, customers are required to reverify their income every 12 months from their previous Reverification Date. Customers must also reverify within 30 days of any change in household size and income. Reverification can be completed online at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov, in-person at the local Community Action Agency (CAA), or by completing an Energy Assistance Application and mailing it to: Energy Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, OH 43216. Mailed applications must include proof of income and can take up to 12 weeks to process. Households claiming zero income must reverify with the local CAA.
Re-enrolling in PIPP Plus
PIPP Plus customers dropped for nonpayment, failure to re-verify or to bring account current by the Anniversary Date may re-enroll if missed PIPP Plus payments are paid, up to a maximum of 24 months. The amount due includes charges for months when PIPP Plus was inactive or service was disconnected, up to the amount owed in arrearage. In some cases, charges for when the customer was not enrolled in PIPP Plus or was disconnected from service can be excluded.
Graduate PIPP Plus
This is a 14-month payment plan to help customers who are no longer eligible, or who have voluntarily left the program, transition to regular utility payments. To enroll, the former PIPP Plus customer must be current with PIPP payments or make up any missed PIPP payments within two billing cycles of enrolling. Once enrolled in Graduate PIPP Plus, customers pay a transitional PIPP payment that averages their most recent PIPP payment, and a budget amount established by the utility. Each monthly, on-time, in-full Graduate PIPP Plus payment earns a credit on the total remaining balance. Customers who make at least 12 Graduate PIPP Plus payments in that 14-month period can eliminate any remaining PIPP debt.
Post PIPP Plus
This 12-month plan provides an opportunity for former PIPP customers with outstanding arrearages who are no longer with the utility and are current with their PIPP payments to reduce or pay off their arrearages. Credits are earned by making payments equal to 1/60th of the final balance. With each payment, 1/12th of the outstanding balance is forgiven. Utilities are not required to bill Post PIPP Plus customers, so customers should thoroughly understand the terms. Customers have 12 months from the date service is discontinued to earn Post PIPP credits. Those interested in Post PIPP Plus should contact the utility as soon as possible to receive the maximum credit.
2023-2024 Income Guidelines
175% of Total Gross
* For families/households with more than 8 persons, please contact your local community action agency.
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