Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PUCO issues Winter Reconnect Order for 2015–2016

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Sept. 2, 2015) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved the Winter Reconnect Order to help Ohioans reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the winter heating season between Oct. 19, 2015 and April 15, 2016. Any customer of a PUCO regulated electric or natural gas utility may take advantage of the order. Last winter heating season, more than 270,000 Ohio utility customers utilized the PUCO’s Winter Reconnect Order.

Energy utility service is vital, especially in the winter. The Winter Reconnect Order is an opportunity for Ohioans to avoid disconnection or to reconnect their gas and/or electric service once during the winter heating season. Customers who utilize the Winter Reconnect Order are required to pay the utility $175 plus any applicable reconnection charge not to exceed $36. If the company’s reconnection charge is greater than $36, the balance may be billed to the customer the following month.

The Winter Reconnect Order also applies to customers seeking to establish new electric and natural gas service. Rather than paying the full security deposit that may be required for new service, customers can pay up to $175 and be billed any remaining balance of the security deposit the following month.

There is no income eligibility requirement to utilize the Winter Reconnect Order, however customers who are at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level may apply through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to pay the $175 amount. Several other state and federal programs are also available to Ohioans who qualify, including the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP) and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). More information about these programs and additional ways to save on home heating bills this winter is available on Ohio’s Winter Heating Resource website at www.winterheat.ohio.gov.

If you would like to utilize the program, call your electric or natural gas utility between Oct. 19, 2015 and April 15, 2016, to find out more information about your account and how to apply the Winter Reconnect Order to your utility bill. Utility representatives will explain the order, and if applicable, set you up on a payment plan for any default amount. PIPP customers who would like to use the Winter Reconnect Order must pay the balance of any default they may have within one billing cycle in order to re-enroll in PIPP.

Customers who have questions about the PUCO’s Winter Reconnect Order may contact the PUCO at 1-800-686-PUCO (7826) or visit the PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.

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Repost.  Source:  http://www.puco.ohio.gov/puco/index.cfm/media-room/media-releases/puco-issues-winter-reconnect-order-for-2015-2016/#sthash.alD8SDYW.dpbs

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ohio HEAP, PIPP, and Other Utility Assistance Programs 2014

The winter heating season is rapidly approaching, and there are a number of helpful programs for individuals and families who are concerned about managing their utility bills over the coming months.

The HEAP, E-HEAP, and PIPP Plus programs assist individuals and families who meet income and other guidelines by providing a credit on electric and natural gas bills or by reducing the monthly payment for those utilities to a small percentage of household income.  

For more information on these programs, contact Akron Summit Community Action at 330-253-8806 or 330-376-7730.

Families experiencing financial difficulties who are interested in stretching their heating dollar as far as possible should also certainly consider investigating the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) and the Electric Partnership Program (EPP).

HWAP is a no cost program that helps households reduce their energy expenses by providing weatherization of homes, safety inspections, and tune-ups of heating units.  In addition to home owners, individuals who rent their homes can also participate with the permission of the landlord/owner of the property.  According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, participants often reduce their energy consumption by 13-25 percent, depending on whether their heat is produced by electricity or natural gas.  Participants in HWAP also reduced their rate of utility disconnections by 50%.  

For more information in the HWAP Program in Summit County, contact Leeann Gillenwater, Control Specialist at Summit County Public Health, 330-643-2537.

For more information on HWAP:

EPP is another program designed to help households reduce energy costs by providing free compact flourescent light bulbs and even a new, free, Energy Star refrigerator or freezer as well as consumer education on energy efficient practices for those who qualify.  

For more information on EPP, contact East Akron Neighborhood Development at 330-773-2095.  

Individuals who live, work, or worship in Hudson, Ohio are welcome to contact the Community Resource Coordinator for assistance in determining their eligibility for these programs and also assistance with completing the applications.  Call Kristin Keller, LSW, at 330-650-4048 ext. 463.

If you'd like to get help determining eligibility and completing the applications on your own online from the Ohio Benefit Bank, get started by clicking here or go to www.ohiobenefits.org.


Source:  Summit County Public Health, Ohio Development Services Agency, Akron Summit Community Action, East Akron Neighborhood Development Progam

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hudson Women's Retreat For Those Affected By Divorce or Separation

All women of Hudson churches who are in the process of separating, divorcing or who are divorced are invited to join us for a one-day retreat to help rebuild and balance life by using spiritual, emotional, financial, and intellectual tools toward health and wellness.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (includes lunch)

St. Mary Parish (340 North Main Street, Hudson, Ohio)

Please send your name, phone number and e-mail address plus a $15 registration fee to the St. Mary Parish Office by Monday, September 22 at noon. For more information, please contact Brenna (icbailey@aol.com) or Rose (rgordyan@stmaryhudson.cc)

Source:  St. Mary Parish/Hudson Ministerial Assoc.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Free School Supplies Giveaways - Akron Area Fall 2014

Bryant and Stratton College
August 16th, 2014 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
Free backpacks filled with school supplies, haircuts for boys, gift cards for haircut/hairstyle for girls, raffles for gift cards for various stores, music, inflatables, game truck
First come, first served (while supplies last)
190 Montrose West Avenue
Akron, OH 44321
(330) 598-2500

Catholic Charities Community Services of Summit County
August 2014, Call for intake, leave message with your contact information.
Provides 1-bag of free school supplies per student in grades K through 8th to qualifying low income families in Summit County.
(330) 475-0091 ext. 235

Compass North Church Back to School Bash
August 10, 2014 from noon-3pm
Food, games, inflatables, prizes, backpacks filled with supplies for kids in grades K through 8.
2445 South Arlington Road, Akron, OH 44319

Emergency Assistance Center (Northern Summit County) 
Provides free, basic school supplies for qualifying students in zip codes 44056, 44067, 44087, 44236, 44264, and 44286. Call for appointment/application.
9199 Olde Eight Road, Suite C, Northfield, Ohio 44067

Good Neighbors
By appointment on August 12-14 and August 19-21
Free back to school supplies for children.  Serves Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Munroe Falls and Stow residents. File must be up-to-date with the Emergency Food Line.  Call for appointment.
2253 Third Street
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
(330) 928-8057

Norton Community Church of the Nazarene
August 22 and 23 - call for information
Clothing ministry for school age children in 44203 zip code
1177 Norton Avenue, Norton, Ohio 44203

Copley Outreach Center School Supplies Giveaway 
Tuesday August 19th, noon to 2:00pm
Register for assistance on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Free school supplies for qualifying students in Copley-Fairlawn School District.  Call to register.
1502 South Cleveland Massillon Road, Copley, Ohio 44321-1908

"I Know I Can" Back to School Drive & Community Resource Fair 
August 24th, noon - 5:00 pm
Free back packs and school supplies while they last, haircuts, manicures
Deon's Grooming Lounge
926 E. Tallmadge Ave, Akron Ohio

Victory Life Church Annual Single Parent Fair
August 16 from 10am - 1pm
Backpacks, school supplies, and more.
3833 Hudson Drive, Stow, OH 44224 

Source:  Infoline, Northeast Ohio Family Fun.com, individual agencies 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summit For Kids Akron 2014

5th Annual
Saturday, August 2, 2014

Parents and Kids are invited to attend the Summit for Kids family expo at the John S. Knight Center on Saturday, August 2, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. By bringing your child, you'll be giving him or her an entertaining and educational experience and helping to promote healthy development.

Plans for the day include fun activities, free back-to-school items and other giveaways, special guests and much more, all made possible by generous local organizations. Admission is free, and the list of attractions is still growing.

Source: Summitforkids.net