Energy Assistance Programs: How to Get Help with Your Electric Bill

If you are an Ohio resident, there are a number of places you can turn to if you need help with your electric bill. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers plans for everyone, as well as offering additional programs specifically designed for low-income families. Below you will find information about a few of these programs. Check out the PUCO website to see if you are eligible for these low-income plans based on federal poverty guidelines.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

HEAP is a federally funded program overseen by the Ohio Development Services Agency and designed to help low-income families meet the costs of their home heating bills. HEAP will help you by making a one-time payment based on your current electricity usage. This service is available for many PUCO-regulated customers.

Residents who qualify for HEAP can also take advantage of winter and summer crisis programs. These programs act similarly to HEAP:  A one-time payment will be made to assist customers with their heating or cooling bills, depending on the season.

You can apply by calling (800) 282–0880 or by writing to P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, Ohio 43266.

Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus)

PIPP Plus is a program that allows eligible customers to make affordable monthly payments while reducing debt on their utilities account. Here’s how it works:  PIPP Plus payments are determined either by a percentage of household income or a predetermined minimum payment. If you qualify for PIPP Plus and pay your PIPP Plus payments on time, some of your debt and the remainder of your energy bill each month will be paid for.

You can learn more by calling (800) 282–0880.

Extended Payment Plans 

All PUCO-affiliated utility companies also offer extended payment plans for everyone, which enable you to make affordable payments while maintaining your service, should you fall behind on your payments.

  • The one-third plan, also known as the Winter Heating Season Plan, is offered exclusively between November and April 15th. The plan allows you to pay one-third of your account balance each month.
  • There are also two other plans:  the one-sixth and one-ninth plans allow you to pay six or nine equal monthly payments on your previous balance, respectively, in addition to your current monthly bill.

To learn more about Energy Assistance Programs available to PUCO customers, visit the PUCO website.