The Community Action and Ohio Development Services Agency is helping income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during the hot summer. The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program provides eligible Ohioans assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air conditioning repairs. The program runs through Aug. 31.
“Working with Community Action we want to reduce the risk of heat-related illness during July and August. These two months can be extremely hot in Ohio and that can take a toll on older Ohioans and Ohioans with breathing conditions,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
In 2015 more than 700 families in Delaware, Madison, Union, Champaign, Logan, and Shelby counties were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program.
The Summer Crisis Program 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. This can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or asthma, which affects more than 850,000 Ohioans, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Eligible households can receive up to $300, if customers of a regulated utility; or $500, if customers of unregulated utilities, such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill or applied to central air conditioning repair costs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $42,525.00.
Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP Plus) are not eligible for bill payment assistance through the program, but are encouraged to work with Community Action to identify other opportunities for assistance.
For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally, contact Community Action at 937-772-9164. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling the toll-free at 800-282-0880.
Submitted by Community Action Organization of Delaware, Madison and Union Counties (Now Serving Champaign, Logan and Shelby counties).