The chilly autumn air has many Ohioans ready to crank up the thermostat in their homes and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s Winter Reconnect program is now in effect to help residents stay warm.
Under the program, customers who are dealing with disconnection can have their service restored or maintained if they pay the amount owed or $175, whichever is less, plus their utility’s service re connection fee.
Michele Lucas with HARCATUS Family Support says assistance is really necessary for many families.
There are no income-eligibility requirements. Any residential customer who is served by a regulated utility company may use the Winter Reconnect Order one time between now and April 15th.
The plan does require them to set up payments with their utility toward the remaining balance on their bill.
Last year, more than 316-thousand Ohio utility customers used the winter reconnect program.
Lucas says sometimes people are reluctant to ask for the reconnection assistance because they might be too proud. But she says it’s not a handout.
Lucas says her agency, like others across the state, can direct residents to the information they need to restore their utility service and avoid future shutoffs.
Additionally, they can direct people to other community resources.
More information is available at puco.ohio.gov.