Community assistance available to avoid utility shut-offsWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Representatives from Columbia Gas, Economic Opportunity Planning Association (EOPA) and United Way of Greater Toledo encourage people who are having a difficult time paying their utility bills to seek help before services are turned off.
Between Oct. 18 and April 15, Columbia Gas customers can have their gas service restored for $175.
As part of the winter reconnection order a customer can pay $175 to have gas service turned back on as long as they sign up for a payment plan to deal with past-due balances of their utility bill. To reconnect services Columbia Gas customers can call 1-800-344-4077.
People who cannot afford the $175 reconnect charge can, starting Nov. 1, receive assistance from EOPA’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to help pay the $175 required to turn on gas.
Individuals can begin making appointments for HEAP assistance starting in the end of October. Contact EOPA at 1-866-504-7392 for an appointment.
The Joint Utility and Social Services Committee will host information fairs throughout the community for those seeking help with utility bills, rental and medical assistance, foreclosure prevention among others. The first event will be Oct. 19 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mott Branch Library, 1085 Dorr St.
Participating agencies include EOPA, Columbia Gas of Ohio, the City of Toledo, First Energy and The Salvation Army.