The Percentage of Income Payment plan allows a customer of Ohio’s utility companies to pay their heating and utility bills according to their income levels. The assistance program, which is often referred to as PIPP, requires that electric and gas companies that operate in Ohio need to accept payments from their customers that is based on a percentage of the household income and their ability to pay for their energy bills. So if a customer has a limited income, the amount that they need to pay will be reduced.
If you apply for and are accepted into the Percentage of Income Payment plan you can save a significant amount of money. If you heat with natural gas, you pay at maximum ten percent of your total monthly household income to your gas company. In addition, at the maximum you will pay five percent of your income to your electric company. So your maximum expense is a total of 15%.
Also it is important to note that if your monthly household income is at or below fifty (50%) percent of the Federal Governments Poverty level, you can experience even further benefits and savings. In these cases at most PIPP customers will pay three percent of their income instead of five percent for the secondary source of heat. If your utility company provides you with both electric and gas services, or if you heat your home with electricity, you will pay fifteen (15%) percent of your monthly household income.
You can call your utility company to explore your options and to get more information. However, your best option may be to stop by or contact your local community action agency. The non-profit agencies can provide more details of the program, and help you through the application process. One of the main criteria is that a customer who is applying for PIPP must receive their primary or secondary heating source from a utility or gas company that is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Most companies fall under this category.