Assistance Programs

Assistance Programs

Assistance Programs

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

If your household income is at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines and you’re responsible for paying your household’s heating costs, you might be eligible for financial assistance through HEAP. Applications will be accepted thru May 31, 2014. If you received assistance last year, you'll automatically receive an application in the mail. Application forms are also available at local Community Action Agencies, Area Agencies on Aging, County Department of Job and Family Services, and local libraries. You'll be required to submit proof of income for the past 12 months and a copy of a recent utility bill along with your signed application. For more information or to apply, contact your local Community Action Agency or the Ohio Department of Development at 1-800-282-0880.

Emergency HEAP (E-HEAP)

In addition, the Emergency HEAP (E-HEAP) program provides a one-time credit up to $175 each heating season to qualified, low-income customers to maintain or restore gas service. In certain cases, E-HEAP can also be used for heating system repairs. The application period for E-HEAP is November 1 through March 31. Applications must be completed at a Community Action Agency. Customers are required to sign up for one of the payment plans mandated by the State of Ohio to receive emergency benefits.

HeatShare

Columbia’s fuel fund program combines contributions from our customers, employees, and shareholders with company donations to assist payment-troubled customers who have exhausted other forms of financial help or who have special hardships. To apply for HeatShare, contact your local chapter of The Salvation Army.

WarmChoice®

The WarmChoice® program offers energy inspection services, space and water-heating system repair or replacement, insulation, air sealing, and health and safety measures as needed to customers whose total household income meets qualifying guidelines for PIPP Plus or is 150% of Federal Poverty Guidelines. WarmChoice services are provided at no cost and can reduce customer bills by an average of 28% and all customers are left with safe gas heating equipment and a more comfortable home. To apply for WarmChoice benefits, call the WarmChoice toll free number at 1-800-952-3037 to be directed to your local provider.

Third-party Notification

We will notify a responsible third party designated by the customer if service is in danger of being shutoff for non-payment. The service won’t necessarily prevent shut-off, and does not obligate third parties to pay the bill, but alerts them that someone they care about may need help or advice.

Medical Certificate

If you or a member of your household has a serious medical condition, a Medical Certificate can delay the disconnection of service for 30 days. Columbia Gas will fax a form to your licensed health care professional, who must complete, sign and return it to us before the shut-off date. Initial certification may be made by telephone if we receive written notice within seven days. If gas service has been disconnected, we must receive the form within 21 days of shut-off to restore service. The Medical Certificate may be used to delay shut-off no more than three times during a 12-month period.