We understand everyone is experiencing hardships during these unprecedented times, that is why we are providing you some facts and resources that may help you as an Ohio resident.
Utility bill payment assistance is a hot topic due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and business shut-down. Many consumers and small business owners in Ohio are concerned about paying their basic bills.
This next list of programs provides information that covers some of the basics on Ohio electricity disconnection, payment plans and bill payment assistance.
- Ohio electric utilities: All 24 Ohio-based electric cooperatives are temporarily suspending disconnects for non-payment of electric service due to the current challenges. Please understand each member is still responsible for paying the balance on their account, and continuing to pay what you can will help you avoid a larger balance in the future. If you are affected by the hardships created by the COVID-19 virus, we ask that you call your local cooperative’s member services department.
- Medical Certification Waiver to delay utility shutoffs: If you have a health condition that would be affected by disconnected utility services, you should communicate with your doctor to assure your health is not at risk. Planning ahead and communicating special needs are key. Medical certifications can be used to prevent a utility disconnection up to three times during a 12-month period or to reconnect service if the customer has been disconnected for no more than 21 days. Medical certifications can postpone a disconnection, but customers are still required to pay for electric and/ or natural gas services, even while the medical certification was in effect. For more information, please check the link below.
- Utility payment assistance for income eligible residents: The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally-funded program managed by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), designed to help income-eligible consumers with winter heating costs. The HEAP program provides a one-time credit once per winter heating season towards a household’s primary heating source. Consumers may apply for HEAP by completing an online application, for more detailed information check the link below.
- Neighbor to Neighbor Program helps pay utility bills: The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program lends a hand to those who are experiencing financial hardships and need help to get back on their feet. Administered by Dollar Energy Fund, the program provides eligible customers with a utility assistance grant applied directly to their AEP Ohio bill. This grant helps limited-income customers maintain or restore their basic electric service. Check the availability and who is eligible for it by clicking on the link below.