Friday, September 23, 2011

Paying for Weatherization and Heating--Northwest Ohio and the Whole Country

Besides help with paying for your winter heat, you may be able to get help keeping the warm air on--and staying27557 inside--your house.  You can find state programs the help you pay for the heat from the LIHEAP program and its state offices.  In Ohio, the Development Services Agency administers the HEAP applications.

But low-income people can get help with free energy inspections, insulation, and furnace and water heater repair, too.  Here are the state offices that administer those programs. Every state has slightly different qualifications for their programs, so check yours to see if you can get help.  Click on your state, then, in the box for "service," choose "weatherization."  It will give you an address, phone number, and a clickable link with more information.  In Ohio, it's also the Department of Development.   For those living anywhere in Ohio, call 1-800-362-7557 for weatherization services.

While the state gives out the money, the actual work is usually done by local nonprofits.  For Lucas County, Ohio, that's the NeighborWorks Toledo.  For Wood, Erie, Sandusky, Ottawa, Huron and Seneca Counties, it's WSOS

You may also wan to check you utility company.  Many utility companies provide weatherization at low or no cost to low-income customers.  In the areas served by Columbia Gas in Ohio, customers who are below 150% of the poverty level, and eligible for the PIPP payment program are eligible for the Warm Choice program.  It includes an energy inspection, insulation, safety check for gas appliances, and, possibly, the repair or replacement of faulty furnaces or water heaters—all for free.  Contact your utility provider to see if they provide services like this. 

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