Seniors can get help with energy bills

A program that helps low-income seniors and Ohioans with medical conditions stay cool during the hot summer months is underway.

Through Aug. 31, the Lorain County Community Action Agency will accept applications for the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program. This year the program will provide income-eligible applicants with a monetary benefit to assist with cooling utility bills.

The SCP will provide cooling assistance to households with incomes up to 175 percent of the 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines with a household member age 60 or older, or with a documented, qualifying medical condition.

Ken Novack, director of housing services, said the program will offer customers of unregulated utilities a total benefit of no more than $300.

Customers of regulated utilities, such as Ohio Edison and Columbia Gas, can receive a total benefit of no more than $250. The program will also offer air conditioners.

Income-eligible customers of Ohio Edison and Columbia Gas are encouraged to take advantage of PIPP Plus. This statewide program allows customers to pay a percentage of their utility charges based on their income.

Current PIPP members who have not made their regular payments and received a disconnection notice are not eligible for bill-paying assistance, but can be eligible to receive an air conditioner.

Documentation of income, household members, ages, and medical conditions must be shown at appointments with utility assistance staff. Call LCCAA’s 24-hour hotline at 855-806-9620 to hear a list of required documents and make an appointment.

Walk-in hours at the Lorain office, 401 Broadway Ave., are Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and in Wellington at 115 Willard Memorial Square from 7:30 -11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.