Utility Assistance for Hamilton County Residents

Need help with your home energy costs? Are you facing a disconnection of services? There are programs designed to help. Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati summarized many of the programs here (Español). 

Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief Program

Hamilton County Commissioners awarded contracts to Talbert House, Community Action Agency and the Freestore Foodbank to help Hamilton County renters stay in their homes and keep the lights on during the COVID-19-pandemic. The Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief Program draws on CARES Act funds to provide short-term assistance to renters who live in Hamilton County and can document income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The County will pay up to three months rent and utilities payments with a maximum of $2,500 for households at or below 80% of the Area Median Income for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about how to apply for Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief assistance

Duke Energy 

If you have an active Duke Energy account, you may be eligible for a payment plan. No deposit is required to enroll in a payment plan.

To enroll in a payment arrangement, Duke Energy customers should call (800) 544-6900 or go to https://www.duke-energy.com/home/billing/special-assistance to make payment arrangements or payment assistance.

Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus)

If your household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, then you may be eligible for PIPP Plus. The PIPP Plus Program helps customers manage their utility bills. Monthly payments are based on a percentage of the household income. The balance of the utility bill is subsidized by the state of Ohio. If you make 24 timely and full payments, then the outstanding balance with your utility company will be eliminated.

To learn more about PIPP Plus, click here to go the Community Action Agency's website

HCJFS Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC)

The PRC Program through HCJFS offers a one-time payment to eligible families to help with  employment-related barriers. Assistance is available for items such as utility bills and rent. 

Eligible households must have at least one dependent child under the age of 18-years-old, and the household income must be less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Applicants will be ineligible if they have received PRC in the last twelve months.

Applications for PRC are available at: https://www.hcjfs.org/services/cash-assistance/

Medical Certification to Postpone Utility Disconnection

If you are facing disconnection and you have a health condition that would be affected by disconnected utility service, you may qualify for a medical certification. A medical certification can postpone a utility disconnection for 30-days. You are still required to pay your utility bills while the certification is in effect. Customers can only use a medical certification three times in a 12-month period.

The medical certification form is available at  https://puco.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/puco/utilities/electricity/resources/30-day- medical-certificate 

Seasonal Assistance

Summer Crisis Program (July 1 - Sept. 30) & E-HEAP

The Summer Crisis Program is in effect from July 1 through September 30, it is an  emergency component of the Home Energy Assistance Program (E-HEAP). If your household income is at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and your utility service has been disconnected or is in threat of disconnection, you may be eligible for a one-time benefit of up to $500 (for regulated utility customers) or up to $800 (for non-regulated utility customers).  To apply for assistance, contact the Cincinnati / Hamilton County Community Action Agency at (513) 685-4478.

Read more about the Summer Crisis Program here

Winter Reconnect Order (Oct. 5-Apr 15)

The Winter Reconnect Order is in effect from October 5th through April 15th, 2021. It helps households with  regulated utility service maintain electric and gas service during the winter heating season.  Under the order, households can pay $175 to avoid disconnection of service, reconnect service after disconnection or set up new service. A reconnection fee up to $36 may be required where service has been disconnected.

Read more about the Winter Reconnect Order here. 

Winter Crisis Program & E-HEAP

Do you need help paying $175 under the Winter Reconnect Order?  If so, you may be able to get help to pay this amount through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Winter Crisis Program. The HEAP Winter Crisis Program begins on November 1st, 2020. Households with an income at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible to apply for the HEAP Winter Crisis Program.  To apply for assistance, contact the Cincinnati / Hamilton County Community Action Agency at (513) 685-4478.

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Posted on 09/21/2020