The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The Breathing Association (TBA) understands that low-income families must often decide between keeping their homes warm in winter and cool in summer and paying other expenses. These decisions affect the health of our most vulnerable customer, those with diagnosed chronic lung and other diseases.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) targets these households (175% of the Poverty Level) who are experiencing energy instability. The Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Assistance funds HEAP. In 2020, HEAP staff provided financial and budget assistance to Franklin County households in need. There were 5627 Winter Crisis Program applicants (Gas, electric, propane, wood, coal in crisis and/or furnace repair.). We helped 1423 Summer Crisis Program applicants. (60 years or older, medical letter of need, service disconnected or threat of disconnection, transfer of service, new service or PIPP default and/or air conditioner ore central air repair.) We processed 10278 HEAP applications. (A primary heat utility vendor payment). To maintain utility stability we assisted 10645 Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP PLUS) an income based budget program that targets low-income households (150% of the Poverty Level) who have regulated utility vendors for their households. (5% for gas and electric or 10% of all electric households last 30 days of income.).

Our HEAP programs in their various forms provide crisis intervention and prevention.

HEAP services include:

Summer Crisis Program
Winter Crisis Program
Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus
Program Partners

HEAP Success Stories!

Home at Last!

A single mother of grown children came to us for help. After being diagnosed with cancer, she had lost her job and had been essentially homeless for three years. She stayed with various friends until her cancer was under control. Today, she is a cancer survivor and back to work. After several years of being on the waiting list, she finally received a Section 8 Housing Voucher for discounted rent. The Winter Crisis Program made pledges to turn on her gas and electric service. PIPP set her utility payments based on her gas and electric bills at 6% of her gross income. Our team had never seen someone so excited to have gas and electric bills! Since the utilities were put in her name, she was able to move into her new home. The customer now has her health, job, home, and peace of mind back!

HEAP Winter Crisis Program and Prescription Assistance!

Ms. J came to her appointment at the Breathing Association frustrated after not knowing where to turn for help. She grew overwhelmed from paying bills on her limited Social Security Disability income and had received disconnect notices from her Utility company. Our Winter Crisis Program paid to stop the disconnections on both utilities. Her new PIPP payments will be $72 on gas and $72 on electric. This is a lower amount than her regular bills, which makes budgeting easier since she can plan ahead. During her appointment, she also mentioned that she is left with less than $100 each month after paying for utilities and medications. Her case manager helped her to apply for Medicare Part D Low Extra Help Program, which will now pay for some of her prescriptions. Ms. J’s story serves as another example of the Breathing Association continues to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.