COLUMBUS, OHIO (Sept. 11, 2019) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved the Winter Reconnect Order. The Winter Reconnect Order helps Ohioans reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the winter heating season between Oct. 14, 2019, and April 15, 2020.
Any customer of a PUCO-regulated electric or natural gas company may take advantage of the order. Last winter heating season, more than 219,000 Ohioans used the Winter Reconnect Order.
Electricity and natural gas service is vital, especially in the winter. The Winter Reconnect Order is an opportunity for customers to avoid disconnection or to reconnect their gas and/or electric service once during the winter heating season. Customers who use the Winter Reconnect Order must pay the utility no more than $175 plus any applicable reconnection charge which cannot exceed $36. If the company’s reconnect charge is greater than $36, the balance may be applied to the customer’s bill the next month.
The Winter Reconnect Order also applies to customers seeking to establish new electric or natural gas service. Rather than paying the full security deposit that may be required for new service, customers can pay up to $175 and the balance will be applied to the customer’s bill the following month.
There is no income eligibility requirement to use the Winter Reconnect Order; however, customers who are at or below 175 percent of the federal income guidelines may apply for assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to pay the $175 amount.
Funding from several other state and federal programs is available to Ohioans who qualify, including the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). More information about these programs and ways to save on home heating bills this winter is available on the PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.
If you would like to take advantage of the Winter Reconnect Order, call your electric or natural gas company between Oct. 14, 2019, and April 15, 2020, to find out how to apply the Winter Reconnect Order to your bill. Utility representatives will explain the order and set up a payment plan for the remaining balance on your account after the $175 has been applied.
Customers who have questions about PUCO’s Winter Reconnect Order may contact the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or visit PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.Ohio.gov.
A copy of today’s finding and order and the Winter Reconnect Order Report is available on the PUCO website at PUCO.ohio.gov. Click on the link to the Docketing Information System (DIS) and search for case 19-1472-GE-UNC.