Utility Bill Assistance



Columbia Gas Heatshare utility assistance.

Customers of Columbia Gas in Ohio that are facing a one-time event that is out of their control may be able to get emergency utility bill assistance from Heatshare. The program was created to allow people to donate to it, and every dollar is then provided to a limited number of households to help them pay their energy bills up to a certain dollar amount.

The contributions will not pay for administrative costs or salaries of the people from the Salvation Army that run the program. There are also commonly tax benefits for those individuals (or even businesses) that donate to Heatshare. Also, this goes without saying, the program is voluntary in nature. No one is obligated to contribute, and they can start or stop at any time and any dollar amount they want.

Each year, Columbia Gas of Ohio will open up the program to donations from the public. They will also match a certain number of contributions which will allow even more customers to get financial help with paying their utility bills. The way this will work is that if say $50,000 has been contributed, the company may match that dollar for dollar or maybe 50% of that money. In either case more money is made available to the less fortunate.

Columbia Gas Heatshare is focused on seniors, the disabled, and medically ill. Others with a one time financial hardship (and that have a plan to get back on track) may also be able to apply. The funds are limited and this program is not the same as some other federal benefits, such as LIHEAP or weatherization.

When applying for energy bill help from Heatshare or the Salvation Army, bring proof of income for all household members and all sources. This should include, but is not limited too, a job, SSI benefits or a pension, child support, and all other sources. The process also requires proof of residency and copies of old bills as well to further prove residency.





If the applicant is ill, then a doctor's note is required. If someone has a source to pay future energy bills after receiving help, then that should be brought as well. The bottom line is that applicants should be prepared with extensive proof of their need.

Heatshare is also run in partnership with many local charities as well as social service agencies. They often help to both collect donations and ensure the assistance goes to those that need it. They also partner with the company to tackle any fraud that may be occurring in the system as well, so this will also tackle any duplication of service.

Only a portion of the bill is paid by Columbia Gas Heatshare. The customer also needs to contribute. They should be prepared to do this and pay some of their income towards what is due.

For more information, whether to donate or to request help, a customer service line is in place at Columbia Gas in Ohio. Phone 1-800-344-4077. Or people can always inquire into their local social service agencies, as they often have information as well.




By: Jon McNamara


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