Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

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Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

After the December snowstorm in Northeast Ohio, several people experienced bone chilling temperatures outside. Unfortunately, many have felt those same temperatures in their own homes. To help prevent people from being without heat in the winter, the federal government has established a couple of programs to assist low-income individuals in meeting the high cost of heating their homes. The first program is the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Through HEAP, most PUCO customers are given a one-time payment which reflects their energy usage for the current winter heating season. To be eligible for HEAP, individuals must be at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. Another program that can help those in need is the Winter Crisis Program, formerly known as Emergency Energy Assistance (E-HEAP). The Winter Crisis Program provides assistance to low-income households once per heating season. Eligible households must be disconnected, threatened with disconnection or have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel remaining. Individuals who use bulk fuel must certify in writing that they have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel to be eligible for the program. In certain cases, the program also offers heating system repairs. To be eligible for the Winter Crisis Program an individual's household income must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. PUCO customers must also sign up for a payment plan in order to receive emergency benefits. To sign-up or learn more about HEAP and the Winter Crisis Program, please call 1-800-282-0880 or 1-800-686-1557 for TTD. If you prefer to write regarding your interest, please send mail to P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, OH 43266.

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