NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR PROGRAM IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER COOLING ASSISTANCE
GAHANNA, Ohio, June 29, 2017 – Starting July 1, the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program will be accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2017 summer cooling season. Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Dollar Energy Fund, eligible AEP Ohio customers who need help during the summer months can apply for assistance to maintain or restore their electric service.
Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program – one of the largest in the country – may provide assistance once per program year to families facing an immediate utility crisis. With help from the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, families in need can receive a grant that is applied directly to their AEP Ohio account that has been terminated or to prevent the termination of their electric service. The program will accept applications from households seeking cooling assistance on a first-come, first-served basis through August 31, 2017, while funds are available.
AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009 and have helped more than 48,000 Ohio families with more than $12 million in utility assistance grants. In Delaware County, 1,031 households have received $270,612 in grants since the program started.
“The summer heat can be particularly challenging for many people, especially the elderly and those with health problems, said Katie Grayem, director of Customer Experience and Communications for AEP Ohio. “For many Ohio families, keeping the house cool during the hot summer months also can be an extremely challenging financial burden. Being a good community partner and neighbor is who we are and what we do, and we are committed to giving our neighbors who may struggle to make ends meet a helping hand to ensure their electric service continues.”
To apply, customers may contact one of the Neighbor to Neighbor Program network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. To qualify, an applicant’s total gross household income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.
For example, a family of four earning up to $49,200 per year is income-eligible for the program. Households must have made a sincere effort of payment on their electric bill in the last 90 days and have a minimum balance of $50 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.
“Neighbor to Neighbor has become a program that typically serves the families who find themselves in a temporary financial situation due to an unexpected expense or loss of income,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund. “The Neighbor to Neighbor Program is available to lend a helping hand to Ohioans who may be struggling to keep food on the table or cover all other household costs.”
The Neighbor to Neighbor Program in Ohio is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio. Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations also can be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor or by sending a check directly to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program is used to assist eligible families residing in Ohio.
For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergyfund.org.
About the program
AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
About Dollar Energy Fund, Inc: Dollar Energy Fund was founded in 1983 and has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization operating in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, Arkansas , West Virginia, Kentucky, California and Connecticut. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $141million in utility assistance grants to over 509,000 limited-income families and individuals.
All donations to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, administered by Dollar Energy Fund, will assist limited-income families residing in Ohio. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund’s website, www.dollarenergyfund.org.