Heating assistance now available


The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) and the Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC) have announced that assistance is available to help with heating bills this winter.

The Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program began Sunday, and helps income-eligible Ohioans pay their heating bills and can assist with fuel tank placement, fuel tank testing, and furnace repair. The program will be open until March 31, 2021.

“As the pandemic continues into the winter, it is important that Ohioans are able to stay safe and warm in their homes,” said Lydia Mihalik, ODSA director. “The Winter Crisis Program can ease the burdens of families. Ohioans who need help with their energy bills should visit energy help.ohio.gov to learn more about the program.”

More than 1,500 families in Fulton, Defiance, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams counties were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program from Nov. 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. The program assists households that have been disconnected or have a pending disconnection notice; need to establish new service; need to pay to transfer service; have 25% or less of bulk fuel supply remaining; or have a household member who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020.

Eligible households can receive a payment for their main heating source and/or secondary heating source – electric. The program can also assist with fuel tank placement, fuel tank testing, and furnace repair.

Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four,the annual income must be at or below $45,850.

Visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov to start the application process prior to a required agency interview with NOCAC. To schedule an appointment, call 419-219-4641 or visit www.nocac.org.