[In the player above, watch previous FOX 8 News coverage on rising electricity costs this summer in Northeast Ohio.]
Who qualifies for energy assistance in Ohio
Ohioans must have a gross annual income that is at or below 175% of federal income guidelines, ranging from $25,515 for a single person, to $52,500 for a household of four people, to $88,480 for a household of eight, and higher for larger households.
Households must also meet at least one other requirement:
- Have a resident who is age 60 or older
- Can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is necessary for a resident’s health
- An electricity disconnection notice has been issued, the electricity has been shut off or the household is trying to get new electric service. These households can get A/C units and/or a fan, or have existing A/C units repaired if the service is maintained for 30 days.
- Households on Percentage of Income Payment Plans, or PIPP, can get help making an initial PIPP payment or if they defaulted on a PIPP payment, or help with repairs to an A/C unit, or receive a new A/C unit and/or a fan.
How it works and how to sign up
There are three ways to apply: in-person, by mail or online.
To sign up in person, reach out to your local community action agency. Here’s a directory.
Ohioans can also download an application here, and mail the completed form to: Energy Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, OH 43216.
To complete the form, you’ll need:
- Proof of citizenship for each person in the household
- Proof of income for each person in the household from the last 30 days or 12 months
- Copies of the most recent utility bills
- Disability verification, if applicable
Applicants can get an up to $500 benefit for a regulated utility — a utility that both supplies and delivers electricity, such as FirstEnergy — and an up to $800 if they have a unregulated utility, such as an electricity provider they chose.
Other energy assistance programs
Ohioans can also get help restoring or maintaining heat through the Home Energy Assistance Program, which offers a one-time benefit each heating season to pay for fuel bills or heating source. The Winter Crisis Program can help keep the heat on or restore service or help with income-based payment plans.
They can also get help weatherizing their homes, making them more energy efficient, through the Home Weatherization Assistance Program.