New guidelines set for heating assistance this winter
by Tim Walters

(Plain Press, November 2005) The weather is getting colder and many Clevelanders are worried about keeping their heat on this winter, especially with the high rates. Here are some things to remember.
Winter reconnect order

  Effective October 17th, the Winter Reconnect order went into effect. Any customer can prevent disconnection or get reconnected by paying $175. It does not matter how much you owe. However, you will have to agree to a payment plan for the balance.

  For those who cannot afford the $175 and whose income is under 175% of poverty (see below), Emergency Heap money will be available on November 1st. Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling the E-Heap Appointment line at 518-4014

  For those whose income is over $175% of poverty, they can pay the $175 themselves. It is important that they call the utility company, before they do so, to get instructions. They will also have to agree to a payment plan.

Governor releases heating assistance money

  As noted above, the eligibility guidelines for E-Heap and Heap are set at 175% of poverty this year (up from 150% of poverty last year). This is a result of Governor Taft releasing $75 million for heating assistance. This means that if you are within the new eligibility guidelines shown, you can get help this year.

New eligibility guidelines for help

Household Size ---------- Household Income

1 ------------------------------  $ 16,748
2 ------------------------------- $ 22.453
3 ------------------------------- $ 28,158
4 ------------------------------- $ 33,863
5 ------------------------------- $ 39,568
6 ------------------------------- $ 45,273

Meeting on winter heating crisis

  Even with the additional help, most feel that it is not enough and many want to know what can be done. Consumers for Fair Utility Rates will hold its 3rd community meeting on utilities, rising rates, preventing disconnections and the overall frustration and anger that we all feel. It will be on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Sagrada Familia Church at 7719 Detroit.

  Information will be provided on heating assistance programs, new eligibility rates, Cleveland Public Power’s winter policy, gas aggregation and choosing a supplier. We will also be determining how we can best move to getting some type of regular help and relief. All are welcome. We have asked a variety of elected officials and the current mayoral candidates to join us.

  Staff from Cleveland Housing Network will be there to process Emergency Heap applications. You must bring proof of income for the entire household for the past 13 weeks, your photo id, social security numbers and birthdates for all in the household, gas and electric bills and proof of residence. You must also be in disconnect status with at least one utility.

  For information – call Tim Walters at the May Dugan Center at 631-5800.


News & Articles | Archives