Consumer Assistance

Assistance may be available for Ohioans who need help paying their utility bills. There are many different forms of assistance for Ohioans. Some assistance programs may help reduce your monthly bills, help weatherize your home, or create a personalized payment plan. Eligibility varies from program to program, so make sure you qualify for a program before applying. Listed below are descriptions of many consumer assistance programs that you may be eligible for. These programs are provided by utilities, the State of Ohio, and various other organizations.  

  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – Two separate programs, HEAP and Emergency HEAP, can help pay a portion of winter heating costs for eligible Ohioans.
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) – Income-eligible Ohioans may limit their electric and/or natural gas bill payments to a pre-determined percentage of their household monthly income.
  • Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) – Low-income Ohioans may be eligible to receive assistance weatherizing their home to increase energy efficiency, which can help lower utility bills.
  • Winter Reconnect Order (WRO) – During the winter heating season, the PUCO-approved WRO may allow all Ohioans, regardless of income, to reconnect or to avoid the disconnection of their utilities for one payment of $175.
  • Summer Crisis Program – During the summer months, consumers may qualify to receive up to $500 to pay an electric bill or repair a central air conditioning unit.
  • Fuel Funds – Many utility companies offer payment assistance to qualifying low-income customers.
  • Medical Certification Waivers – Medical Certification Waivers may help Ohioans that have a health condition that would be affected by disconnection.
  • Consumer Assistance for Military Families – Military members and their families may qualify for special assistance programs.
  • Telephone Lifeline Programs – Qualifying Ohioans can receive assistance to make their telephone service more affordable.

Disconnection and Reconnection of Service

If you struggle to pay electric and natural gas bills, you’re not alone. Ohioans facing disconnection have rights and responsibilities which protect them in these situations. Additionally, there are many opportunities to receive payment assistance to avoid disconnection. Learn more with this guide to energy disconnection and reconnection provided by the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.

Looking to Apply for Assistance?

Are you considering applying for an assistance program through your local Community Action Agency? Make sure you know what information you need before scheduling an appointment.

See more information on consumer assistance here.


Additional Resources During the Pandemic

In response to the coronavirus crisis, federal programs are providing some additional utility and rental assistance to eligible consumers.

Consumers are encouraged to contact their local Community Action Agency (see http://www.energyhelp.ohio.gov), Department of Job and Family Services, and municipal and county governments about the availability of these and other resources.

Ohio Home Relief Grant

Ohioans can receive assistance with rent, mortgage, or utilities from the state of Ohio, through their local Community Action Agency (CAA). Ohio’s Community Action Agencies work with the Ohio Department of Development to provide assistance to Ohioans in need.

To apply for mortgage, rent, and/or utility bill assistance including gas, electric, bulk fuel, water/sewer and trash, contact the Community Action Agency that serves your county.

More information at https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/home-relief-grant.html

Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s Save the Dream Ohio

This program, using the American Rescue Plan’s Homeowner Assistance Fund, will provide mortgage assistance to homeowners that are financially struggling due to the pandemic. The program can assist with utilities, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and mortgage payments. Homeowners are eligible to receive assistance if they experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2020, and have incomes equal to or less than 150 percent of the area median income. More information is available on the Ohio Housing Finance Agency website.

Billions of dollars in rental assistance available for renters behind on housing costs, as well as landlords who have struggled during the pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched the Rental Assistance Finder. This new tool allows renters to find information on rental assistance in their area and apply for assistance. In Ohio, emergency rental assistance programs are administered by local Community Action Agencies.

More information at https://savethedream.ohiohome.org/

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Home Energy Assistance Program: HEAP guidelines
Home Energy Assistance Program application (Ohio Department of Development)

Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus)

Know the facts: PIPP Plus
HEAP and Electric PIPP are administered by the Ohio Department of Development at 1-800-282-0880.
Natural gas PIPP is administered by the PUCO at 1-800-686-7826 (toll free telephone). 

FIND YOUR COUNTY'S COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY
Click: https://oacaa.org

Ohio Association Of Community Action Agencies