Dave, a father of two, had been without heat or electricity for several months due to an issue with the previous tenant. Unsure of what to do, he turned to Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA) for help.
The previous tenant had left behind both a balance with Ohio Edison and a frustrated landlord. Dave was unable to get electric service in his name due to this balance even though he was able to afford the monthly charges.
He had resorted to heating the home with wood fires and using a generator, charged by his car. Both unconventional sources of power were too expensive to continue long term.
Confused and tired, Dave came to LCCAA and met with HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) Coordinator Andrea Cash. First, Andrea set up an account with a wood supplier to help Dave keep his home warm while they worked on a long-term solution. She then contacted Ohio Edison and helped Dave supply the documents they needed to verify that he was not responsible for the previous tenant’s balance.
It took multiple trips to LCCAA and multiple phone calls to resolve the issues, but Dave now has electric service in his name and is enrolled in Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus. This program allows eligible residents to pay a set percentage of their income for their utilities and will keep Dave’s bills within his budget. He also has an affordable source of heat in the wood that was provided.
“He was extremely grateful,” Andrea said. “It was a long journey, but it was well worth it because a community member left happy and satisfied.”
For more information about Community Action programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org. Note, not all Community Action Agencies offer these programs.