MARIETTA – The Ohio Development Services Agency and Buckeye Hills Regional Council want to remind everyone that income-eligible Ohioans can still receive assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program. The program helps eligible Ohioans pay their heating bills and can assist with fuel tank placement, fuel tank testing, and furnace repair. The program will be continuing through March 31.

The Winter Crisis Program is just one part of the overall Home Energy Assistance Program, known as HEAP. HEAP is a federally funded program that provides eligible Ohioans assistance with their home energy bills. There are regular HEAP benefits, and then every year the program also offers a Summer Crisis Program and a Winter Crisis Program. Applied directly to the customer’s utility or bulk fuel bill, the Winter Crisis Program benefit can help manage heating costs during the cold winter months.

Low-income households that have been disconnected (or have a pending disconnection notice), need to establish new service, need to pay to transfer service, have 25 percent (or less) of bulk fuel supply remaining, less than a 10-day supply of firewood. or have a household member who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020-2021 may be eligible for the HEAP Winter Crisis Program.

This year, appointments can be held over the phone or in-person with a local Energy Assistance Provider. For a complete list of providers by county, you can visit buckeyehills.org/heap. Ohioans can visit energyhelp.ohio.gov to start their application before their required appointment.

For more information about the features of the Winter Crisis Program locally and what is needed to apply, contact Buckeye Hills Regional Council at 1-800- 331-2644. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-282-0880.

Buckeye Hills Regional Council is a council of governments dedicated to improving the lives of residents in southeast Ohio and is one of 12 Area Agencies on Aging in Ohio, responding to the needs of older adults in southeast Ohio, BHRC provides education, information, and referral services while also working with the public and private sectors to help older adults with home and community-based long-term care.

To learn more about Buckeye Hills Regional Council, and for assistance, and referral services, visit www.buckeyehills.org, call 740-374-9436 or 1-800-331-2644 (toll free), or email info@buckeyehills.org.

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