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