GAHANNA — As the weekly bouts with severe winter weather continue, the AEP Ohio/Dollar Energy Fund Neighbor to Neighbor Utility Assistance Program is still accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2018-19 winter heating season.
This fund is one of the largest of its kind in the country and may provide assistance once per program year to families facing an immediate utility crisis. With help from the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, families in need can receive a grant, which is applied directly to their AEP Ohio account, to prevent disconnection from occurring or to restore their electric service. The program will accept applications from households seeking heating assistance on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30, 2019, while funds are available.
AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009 and have helped more than 54,000 Ohio households with more than $13 million in utility assistance grants.
To qualify, an applicant’s total gross household income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, a family of four earning up to $50,200 per year is income eligible for the program.
Households must have made a sincere effort of payment of $75 on their electric bill in the last 90 days and have a minimum balance of $50 due on their AEP Ohio bill. Customers may apply for assistance through the Neighbor to Neighbor Program network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. Full eligibility guidelines, a list of organizations accepting applications, and information on how to make a donation to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor program are available at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.
“Neighbor to Neighbor has become a program that serves the families who find themselves in a temporary financial situation due to an unexpected expense or loss of income,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund. “The Neighbor to Neighbor Program is available to lend a helping hand to Ohioans who may be struggling to keep food on the table or cover all other household costs.”
The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in Ohio is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio. Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations also can be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor or by sending a check directly to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every dollar donated to the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor program will be matched by AEP Ohio. All matching funds and 100 percent of the donations assist limited-income families residing in Ohio to afford utility service.
For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Neighbor to Neighbor Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.