Relief ready for sweltering families

Published 10:18 am Monday, June 28, 2010

As temperatures continue to rise, so does the cost of energy bills.

There is some relief for low-income seniors who can’t afford their increasing bills.

The Ohio Department of Development’s Community Division announced that funding will be available for eligible households to assist with cooling costs.

The Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, will provide up to $175 to households with low-income seniors or people that have physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed.

The $175 will go towards electric bill payments or even an air conditioning unit.

“The HEAP Summer Crisis Program is vital to the safety and well-being of Ohio’s older citizens, ensuring they receive the assistance they need during the hot summer months,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Ohio Department of Development Director.

According to the Ohio Department of Development, more than 42,000 Ohio families were helped through HEAP last year.

The amount of money an eligible family can receive is based on household size and income.

According to the Department of Development, after you receive the application, fill it out and send it back with proof of income for the past 12 months and a copy of a recent fuel or utility bill.

The get the application process started, HEAP has a toll-free hotline, (800) 282-0880. For the hearing impaired, call (800) 686-1557. Their website is www.energyhelp.ohio.gov.