PUCO approves Winter Reconnect Order

Staff report

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has approved the Winter Reconnect Order, which helps Ohioans reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the winter heating season between Oct. 14, 2019, and April 15, 2020.

Any customer of a PUCO-regulated electric or natural gas company may take advantage of the order and avoid disconnection or reconnect gas and/or electric service once during the winter heating season. Last winter heating season, more than 219,000 Ohioans used the Winter Reconnect Order.

Customers using the Winter Reconnect Order must pay the utility no more than $175 plus any applicable reconnection charge which cannot exceed $36. If the company’s reconnect charge is greater than $36, the balance may be applied to the customer’s bill the next month.

The Winter Reconnect Order also applies to customers seeking to establish new electric or natural gas service. Rather than paying the full security deposit that may be required for new service, customers can pay up to $175 and the balance will be applied to the customer’s bill the following month.

There is no income eligibility requirement; however, customers who are at or below 175% of the federal income guidelines may apply for assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to pay the $175 amount.

Funding from several other state and federal programs is available to Ohioans who qualify, including the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). More information about these programs and ways to save on home heating bills this winter is available on the PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.

For more information, call PUCO at 800-686-7826 or visit www.PUCO.Ohio.gov.

Staff report