Beginning July 1, the Community Action and Ohio Development Services Agency will help income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during summer months.
Until Aug. 31, eligible Ohioans will receive assistance paying an electric bill or for central air-conditioning repairs provided by the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program.
The director of the agency, David Goodman, said he hopes this program will reduce the risk of heat-related illness during July and August, especially for the elderly and those with breathing conditions.
Last year the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program helped more than 700 families in Delaware, Champaign, Logan, Madison, Union and Shelby counties.
The program assists low-income households with an elderly member (60 years or older), or households able to provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is necessary for a household member’s health. This can include lung disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; or asthma.
Those eligible can receive up to $300, if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $500, if they are a customer of unregulated utilities, such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to utility bills 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.
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, contact Community Action at 740-369-3184. More information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling the toll-free at 800-282-0880.
Information for this story was provided by the Community Action and Ohio Development Services Agency.