Electricty payment assistance available

SIDNEY — The Ohio Development Services Agency and Bridges Community Action Partnership will help income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during the hot summer months.

The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program provides eligible Ohioans assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air conditioning repairs. The program runs from July 1 until Aug. 31.

To apply for the program, customers are required to schedule appointments with Bridges Community Action Partnership. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 937-507-9341.

Customers need to take copies of the following documents to their appointments: copies of their most recent energy bills; a list of all household members and proof of income for the last 30 days and 12 months for each member; proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members; physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health if there isn’t a household member over 60.

Last year, more than 900 families in Champaign, Delaware, Logan, Madison, Shelby and Union counties were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program.

Executive Director Rochelle Twining said, “Summer heat impacts the health of people with certain illnesses, the elderly and children. Heat can be deadly. Being able to circulate air or provide cool air helps people survive hot humid summer days.”

The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with a household member 60 years or older or households that can provide physicians’ documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health. Conditions can include lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

Ohioans enrolled in Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) are not eligible for bill payment assistance through the program, but are encouraged to work with Bridges Community Action Partnership to identify other opportunities for assistance.

For information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program, call 937-507-9341. For information about energy assistance programs, call 800-282-0880, Monday through Friday (hearing impaired customers may dial 711 for assistance) and for a list of energy assistance providers select option 2, or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov.