Fuel Funds Added to Utility Help Options

posted 1/8/21 -- LCCAA currently offers multiple programs that help low-income Lorain County residents keep their heat on, reconnect them to heat or help pay their heating bill. Beginning January 4, Columbia Gas Fuel Funds were added to the available assistance programs.

Winter Crisis
If you have received a disconnect notice but still have heat, make an appointment as soon as possible by calling 440-538-6999. If you live at or below 175% of the federal poverty level, you qualify for the Winter Crisis Program.

Making an appointment to determine if you are eligible will stop the disconnection. You must give your account number when you make your appointment, your appointment must be scheduled for more than 48 hours before the disconnection and you MUST keep your appointment. If you do not keep your appointment, you may still be disconnected.

You may also qualify for the Winter Crisis Program if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, even if you do not have a disconnect notice. Bulk fuel customers are also eligible if their supply is low. Winter Crisis operates from November to March.

If you have not received a disconnect notice but are struggling to pay your bill, you may qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). This program provides a once-per-season credit on your account with the utility company if you live at or below 175% of the federal poverty line. Additional funding is available in 2020 due to COVID-19. This program operates from July to April.

Winter Reconnect Order
If you are currently without heat, you may qualify to have service restored with the Winter Reconnect Order. This annual order from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) requires regulated utility companies to accept a minimum payment to restore service. This payment can come in the form of your HEAP or Winter Crisis benefit. You can also pay it yourself if you are able. The Winter Reconnect Order applies to all Ohioans regardless of income level. If you do not have heat and you do not have funds to restore service, call us right away.

The Winter Reconnect Order typically operates from October to April, but may vary by utility company.

Fuel Funds
Columbia Gas customers who have used all of the above options can also apply for Fuel Funds if they live at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. These funds are offered on a first come, first served basis. You do not need to have a disconnect notice.

PIPP Plus can help you avoid getting into a crisis situation by lowering your bills to manageable levels. In PIPP Plus, you pay a percentage of your income to each utility company and arrearages are forgiven if you remain current on your payments. You can apply for this program year round and must reverify annually. Eligibility for PIPP begins at 150% of the federal poverty line.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, all services will be provided by phone appointments only. Our satellite offices and administrative building remain closed to the public.

Appointments can also be made online at app.capappointments.com.

If you have questions, visit our website at www.lccaa.net or call 440-245-1870 during business hours. Our lobby reception window at 936 Broadway Ave., Lorain is also open to one customer at a time. Masks are required and no documents are accepted at the window.