HEAP Winter Crisis Program steps in time to help those struggling with rising utility bills

Posted at 7:46 AM, Oct 19, 2020

CLEVELAND — The temperatures are dropping, which means heating bills are going up.

But help is available for people looking to rebound.

Energy costs can easily be a burden for many Northeast Ohio families. The US Energy Information Administration, part of the Department of Energy, says Americans will spend more money on their home this winter. According to Wallet Hub, those costs eat up about 25 million U.S. households’ incomes after tax and it could be more now that the pandemic has forced many of us to work and learn from home.

But anyone in Northeast Ohio who is struggling to pay utility bills, has been threatened with disconnection or has less than 25% of fuel can qualify for energy assistance. Typically, only households with incomes at or below 60% of the state median income are eligible for the home energy assistance winter crisis program or HEAP. For example, a household of three would have to have a maximum income of about $42,000 a year.

The program officially starts on November 1, but you can start making appointments Monday, October 19.

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