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Dominion East Ohio Reminds Customers of Winter Reconnection Rules, Payment Programs for Winter Heating Energy Assistance

CLEVELAND, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that the temperatures are dropping, Dominion East Ohio urges customers to contact the company to inquire about payment plans and energy assistance programs. In addition, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has issued the Winter Reconnection Order, which allows residential customers who have had their home heating service disconnected or have received a disconnection notice an opportunity to pay to have their home heating service restored or maintained. The reconnect program runs through April 13, 2012.

Residential customers must pay $175 or the total amount owed, whichever is less, to restore or maintain service with their regulated natural gas or electric company. If the service has been disconnected, a reconnection fee of no more than $36 is also required. The winter reconnect order may be used only one time during the winter heating season.

There is no income eligibility requirement to participate, but the plan requires customers to sign up for a payment plan to pay any remaining past-due balance on their utility bill. The winter reconnect program also applies to customers seeking to establish new service.

Income-eligible customers who are interested in re-enrolling or maintaining participation in the PIPP Plus or Graduate PIPP Plus programs must make an additional payment of no more than $50 per utility if they owe more than $175 in plan arrears.

Dominion East Ohio strongly urges customers who know they will not be able to maintain regular payments to contact Dominion East Ohio immediately, toll-free, 1-800-362-7557 to inquire about company payment plans and or energy assistance program options.

Dominion East Ohio Payment Plans

  • Budget Billing: allows customers to pay a fixed budget amount each month, based on review and usage remaining in budget year.
  • Budget Plus: allows eligible customers with a past-due balance to pay a special budget amount, plus one of 12 equal payments of their past-due amount.
  • Current-Plus Plan: Customers with a past-due balance pay their current monthly bill, plus 1/6th of the arrears at the time they enroll in the plan.
  • One-Ninth Plan: allows customers to pay one-ninth of their past due balance each month plus a calculated budget amount.
  • Short–Term Extension: grants up to five additional days to pay before the next bill date.
  • One-Third Winter Heating Plan: customers pay one-third of their total account balance each month for bills that include gas used from November 1 through April 13, 2012.

For details on any of these plans, go to www.dom.com or call 1-800-362-7557.

Government Assistance Programs
Customers on low or fixed incomes are encouraged to apply for all of these programs with one application at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov. Applications also are available at post offices and libraries, or by calling 1-800-282-0880.

  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides a one-time credit for heating bills for residential customers whose incomes are no more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) allows income-eligible customers to make lower energy payments based on household size and income. Households with a gross yearly household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible to participate.
  • Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) is a federally funded program that provides grants to eligible customers for home weatherization measures.
  • Winter Crisis Program (WCP), also known as Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (E-HEAP), provides a one-time grant to help avoid a shutoff or to restore service once between November 1, 2011, and March 30, 2012. Local community action agencies can assist with emergency payments to help avoid disconnection. Call 1-800-282-0880 for an appointment, or in Cuyahoga County call 216-518-4014.

Other energy assistance programs include:

Dominion East Ohio also offers the Medical Certificate Program, which delays a shutoff, or restores service, when it could be life threatening to a permanent household member. To receive a medical certification form, call 1-800-362-7557.

Dominion East Ohio EnergyShare is a fuel–assistance program of last resort designed to help those in need pay their winter natural gas bill. To be eligible, you must be a Dominion East Ohio customer, have exhausted other state and federal fuel-assistance resources and have a shut–off notice. A shut–off notice is not needed if you are over age 60. For assistance, contact your local Salvation Army office after December 1.

The Housewarming Program, sponsored by Dominion East Ohio, also provides weatherization assistance to help eligible customers reduce their energy usage. For information, call the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) at 1-888-377-3774.

More information about these programs and additional ways to save on home heating bills this winter is available at Ohio's Winter Heating Resource website, www.winterheat.ohio.gov. Visitors to this site will also find information about budget billing, energy choice and energy conservation. Utility customers who have questions about the PUCO winter heating season reconnect program may contact the PUCO at (800) 686-7826 or visit the PUCO website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,200 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

SOURCE Dominion East Ohio



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