Whether it’s through heating in the winter, cooling in the summer, using appliances, medical equipment, and more - energy plays a crucial role in ensuring that our homes are safe and comfortable. This energy also comes at a cost through our monthly utility bills. For many, these bills can present a difficult financial burden that can threaten utility shut-offs, debt, and even eviction.
Electric and Natural Gas Bill Assistance:
To lessen the burden of energy bills, there are several energy assistance programs available to renters and homeowners who qualify. These statewide programs are managed locally both by CHN Housing Partners and by the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC).
The Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP) is an statewide program that can reduce the required payments for gas and electric bills to a percentage of the household income. If you have natural gas and electric service, through this program you will pay 6% of your monthly household income each month or $10 (whichever is more) toward each bill. If you heat your home with electricity, you will be required to pay 10% of your monthly household income each month or $10 (whichever is more). By not missing payments, this program also provides the opportunity to reduce and eliminate outstanding balances owed to your utility company.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that provides a one-time benefit that is applied directly to the heating utility for those who meet income requirements. In addition to the HEAP credit, the Summer Crisis and Winter Crisis programs can provide assistance for those who have received disconnection notices on their utility bills. The Summer Crisis Program provides assistance towards electric bills and is available July 1st to Sept 30th, 2020. The Winter Crisis program is available November 1st to May 1st, 2021 and provides emergency assistance towards heating utility bills for those who have received disconnection notices.
Follow this link for more information about these utility payment assistance programs administered by CHN Housing Partners.
Additionally, through funding provided by the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, the Cleveland Department of Aging has a HEAP administrator available to provide information on utility assistance programs, and assist with determining eligibility and program applications. Older adults and adults with disabilities who reside in the city of Cleveland and have questions regarding any of these programs can contact Ursula Rossman, HEAP Administrator at the Cleveland Department of Aging at 216-664-2239 or URossman@city.cleveland.oh.us.
Water and Sewer Bill Assistance
There are also several local assistance programs available for water and sewer bills through CHN Housing Partners. The Water Affordability program offers up to a $140 discount on monthly water/sewer bills. This program is available to homeowners only, with a total household income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines. The Sewer Crisis program is available to Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District customers, and can offer a credit of up to $300 or half of the sewer bill (whichever amount is less) to homeowners who demonstrate hardship.
Visit this link for more information about water/sewer assistance programs administered by CHN Housing Partners.
Additionally, Cleveland Water offers the Homestead Discount Program, which provides lower water bill rates to customers who are 65 years of age or older or are totally and permanently disabled at any age. This program is available to homeowners, and the total household income must be at or below set guidelines.
Visit this link for more information about rates and the application process.
Energy Efficiency Assistance
CHN Housing Partners also offers energy conservation and home weatherization services through federal and utility-funded programs that can help to lower your household energy bills. These services include:
- Attic, wall, and basement insulation
- Blower-door-guided air leakage reduction
- Heating system repairs or replacements
- Health and safety testing and inspections
- LED light bulb installation
- EnergyStar refrigeration replacement
For inquiries about the above-mentioned programs, general questions, or help getting pointed in the right direction for energy and utility assistance, please see below for contact information:
CHN Housing Partners
Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland
Don’t forget to register for our Monthly Meeting to learn more about Energy Awareness on September 23rd! Our energy management team will provide useful resources for the community on how to save energy and money, and share updates on the City of Cleveland's efforts in leading by example.