Winter Crisis Program Is Open

The funding provides two distinct components: HEAP and the Winter Crisis Program (WCP), also called Emergency HEAP (E-HEAP). To qualify for either program, total household income must be at or below 175 percent of the federal income level.


The HEAP program provides a credit once per winter heating season towards a household’s primary heating source. HEAP benefit amounts vary and are determined by the following criteria:

  • Household income;
  • Number of people in the household;
  • Type of primary heating source;
  • Someone in the home is disabled or 60 years of age or older;
  • Household is enrolled in Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus);
  • Federal funding levels; and
  • Geographic region of the state.

How to apply for HEAP

Consumers may apply for HEAP from July through May by completing an online application at or by scheduling an appointment with the local Community Action Agency.  An Energy Assistance application may also be downloaded from the website and mailed to: Ohio Department of Development, Energy Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, Ohio 43216.  Applications may also be available at county Job and Family Services, Area Agency on Aging offices, libraries, or by contacting ODOD at 1-800-282-0880. Mailed applications can take 12-16 weeks to process.

To complete an application, you will need:

  • A list of all members of the household with birth dates and social security numbers.
  • Proof of income for all household members 18 years of age and over for at least the previous 30 days.
  • Proof of citizenship or legal residence for household members.
  • Copies of recent utility bills.
  • Disability verification (if applicable).

Failure to fully complete the application and provide all required documentation, including signing the application, will delay processing.

For more information, or to locate your local Community Action Agency, visit or contact ODOD at 1-800-282-0880.

Winter Crisis Program/E-HEAP

The Winter Crisis Program (WCP), also called E-HEAP, provides financial aid once per heating season beginning November 1 through March 31 to income-eligible consumers who:

  • Have been disconnected or received a shut-off notice;
  • Have less than a 25 percent supply of bulk fuel; or
  • Need to establish new service or pay to transfer service.

Customers are ineligible until any current medical certification filed with their utility expires.

How to Apply for WCP/E-HEAP

Consumers must:

  • Complete an application during an interview, usually with a local Community Action Agency;
  • Be an adult member of the household;
  • Submit proof of income for all household members 18 years and older;
  • Submit shut-off notice and most recent utility bills; and
  • Provide a list of all household members, including birth dates, Social Security numbers, and proof of citizenship (or legal residency) for all household members.

Applicants should call to make an appointment with a Community Action Agency and verify what documentation they should bring with them to verify eligibility. State-regulated utilities will delay disconnection until five days after a confirmed appointment for WCP/E-HEAP with the local Community Action Agency.

WCP/E-HEAP Payments

Once a consumer has been approved for the WCP/E-HEAP, the local agency will authorize the payment to the utility. The payment will cover disconnection prevention, reconnection of service, or 30 days of bulk fuel.

Households served by a state-regulated utility with a remaining outstanding balance will be required to sign up for a payment plan, such as the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus).

In some cases, the program also can make a payment towards heating system repairs.

Customers of American Electric Power, Cleveland Electric Illuminating, Columbia Gas of Ohio, AES Ohio (formerly Dayton Power & Light), Dominion East Ohio, Duke Energy, Ohio Edison, or Toledo Edison may want to contact the utility for additional emergency assistance programs.  Click here for the consumer fact sheet.

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