[Editor’s Note: The video above is a previous story about rising energy costs in Ohio.]

CLEVELAND (WJW) – Thousands in Northeast Ohio could be facing significantly higher electric bills this summer, but there may be relief for some.

Ohioans at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines may qualify for help paying their electric bill, or purchase air conditioning equipment.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program through September 30, 2023.

According to a press release, low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health, have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, are trying to establish new service on their electric bill, or require air conditioning are eligible.

Conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or asthma.

Assistance up to $800 can be applied to an electric utility bill, or to purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or a payment up to $1,500 can be used for central air conditioning repair, explained the press release.

Last year, the program, which is a partnership through the Cleveland Housing Network Housing Partners, helped more than 1,200 families in Cuyahoga County.

Here’s how to apply:  

Cuyahoga County residents can call (216) 350-8008 to make an appointment, or they can click here to schedule an appointment.

Appointments will be conducted by phone or video conference. 

 Applicants must provide all required application documents no less than three days prior to the date of their appointment, or they may be asked to reschedule.

Required Documents:  

  • Copies of their most recent energy bills (gas, electric, water and sewer)  
  • Photo Identification (for primary applicant and any account holder)
  • Social Security Cards for each household member 
  • Proof of U.S Citizenship or legal residency for each household member  
  • Income verification for the past 30 days or 12 months for each household member over the age of eighteen,  
  • Seasonal employees need to bring 12 months of income, Self-Employment may provide a copy of their filed IRS Form 1040 (including all pages) or IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter, (Current Paystubs, recent award/benefit letters from SSI, SSDI, Social Security benefit, Pension benefit, unemployment benefit, Child Support, OWF, Utility Assistance (CMHA, Eden, section 8 letter) 
  • For households with no income, an IRS Tax Transcript is required. Renters living in multi-unit dwellings may be required to provide their landlord’s name and contact information. When residents qualify for and apply for Summer Crisis benefits, applications for a regular HEAP benefit and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) will automatically be submitted to the Ohio Development Services Agency. 
  • Proof of disability (if applicable) 
  • Physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health (if there isn’t a household member over the age of 60)
  • Homeowners can also apply for CHN Water Affordability and Sewer Crisis Programs by submitting their current water and sewer bills.   

For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program, contact CHN Housing Partners at 216-325-1148, or click here.