(WKBN) — As temperatures drop, heating bills are expected to be higher this year. For those having trouble paying those bills, help is available.
“We have a number of energy assistance programs and it’s important that they call whenever they feel like they’re having financial difficulty or will not be able to pay their bills,” said Tracy Oliver with Dominion Energy.
Columbia Gas customers received help last year to manage their energy costs. The main one is the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
“It’s a one-time assistance grant that income-eligible customers can get on their heating bill,” said Ben Cutler with Columbia Gas of Ohio.
Every county has a community action agency that administers the program. The providers also have other programs which can help, like budget billing and even home weatherization.
“It’s not so much the one-time credit can really help, it can really make a big difference for folks. But it’s about reaching out and getting the help you need and getting connected with other programs as well,” Cutler said.
Dominion Energy also has a program called Energy Share. It’s administered by the Salvation Army and is funded with company contributions, plus donations from customers and employees.
If you see a past amount due on your bill and can’t figure out how to pay it, find the phone number on the bill and call.
“Don’t be ashamed and give us a call and we will work with individual customers in their individual circumstances,” Oliver said.
People can also call 211 to be connected with assistance on heating bills.