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 customers—those with diagnosed chronic lung disease and other issues. Other customers resort to using other methods to heat their homes (stoves, inside fires, etc.). HEAP dollars help protect the health and safety of our customers.
In 1988, TBA became the first agency to join public health and energy with health care services by providing air conditioners and electric utility vendor payments to households who were income eligible and had a family member with a lung health diagnosis. This program was known as “Project AirCare.”
In 2005 and 2006, TBA expanded its energy assistance program by opening a year round HEAP program for eligible Franklin County residents. This program provides a number of services under its HEAP umbrella: The Winter Crisis Program (WCP), Summer Crisis Program (SCP), Percentage Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) and Regular HEAP.
All programs, with the exception of regular HEAP, require a face-to-face interview. Household members must provide documentation (see program guidelines) of income eligibility. If a household receives a payment, a PIPP (or an alternate payment plan) will be set up to make payments more manageable.
Office HEAP Hours:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
- Wednesday: 8:30 am – 7 pm
- Closed for lunch 12 pm – 1 pm
First 25 walk-ins accepted without an appointment, 8:30 am to 10 am.
Appointments only during office hours
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (614) 457-2997
Community HEAP Hours at Neighborhood Locations:
HEAP clients are seen by appointment only between 8 am and 5 pm
For an appointment at the Eastside or Westside office, call (614) 566-0750.
In partnership with:
- Ohio Development Services Agency
- NBC4 Here For You
- Gladden Community House
Frequently Asked Questions
I have been approved for assistance. When will my utility bill be paid?
- Your utility bill will be paid within 30 days of your application’s approval. If you receive a new bill, don’t panic. The Ohio Development Services Agency will make the payment. You can also call our office to find out the status of your application at (614) 457-2997.
How can I make an appointment?
- For your convenience there is an Interactive Voice System available 24 hours, 7 day a week. Call (866) 861-6399 to make an appointment.
How do I get my PIPP Plus balance to go away?
- The Columbia Gas or American Electric Power utility program’s current PIPP Plus program (Percentage of Income Payment Program Plus) was created to keep you out of debt. Every time you make an on-time PIPP Plus payment to the utility companies you win!
Here is how it works:
- When you sign up for PIPP Plus and you pay your PIPP Plus bill on time, the balance of your current monthly charge and 1/24th of your total initial utility bill will be forgiven. Your Case Manager will divide the total balance due by 24 to determine the amount to be forgiven after on time payments.
- Example: Mrs. X has a Columbia Gas past-due bill of $864. Her Case Manager placed her on the PIPP Plus program for $43 per month (6% of her gross income). Each month she pays on time, her total amount past due will be reduced by $36 ($864 divided by 24 months = $36). Each month Mrs. X makes her PIPP utility payments on time, two things happen:
- The amount over and above her PIPP Plus payment is forgiven on her current bill. Example: Mrs. X’s current bill is $172. She makes an on-time PIPP payment of $43 and the balance of $129 is forgiven.
- The total past-due bill is reduced. Example: Mrs. X’s past-due total of $864 divided by 24 was $36. Each month, $36 will be forgiven from her total past-due bill. When she completes the 24 months of on-time payments, her balance due will be $0.
- How did Mrs. X win with PIPP Plus? She paid $43 every month on time and saved the balance due each month. Thanks to her monthly on-time payments of $43, her past-due amount of $864 was also forgiven! By paying on time, she saved hundreds of dollars and improved her standing with her utility company by being a reliable on-time bill-paying customer. Be a winner. Sign up for PIPP Plus.
Is there anything I can do to help lower my bills and stay cool this summer?
From the GreenHome Tip Sheet, learn what to do to stay cool…
Learn these good habits:
- To block the sun’s heat in the summer, keep drapes, curtains and blinds closed on the sunny side of your house during the day. On less humid nights, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows to help cool the air.
- If you need to cool one room more than the rest of the house, use a fan to spread the cool air around the room.
- Spend time on lower floors of a building where cooler air stays.
- Keep the lights off whenever possible and run your dishwasher, oven, stove and clothes dryer late in the evening when it is cooler. They all create heat, especially incandescent and halogen lights.
- Try using a room-sized dehumidifier to cool the room. Removing humidity helps take warmth out of the air.
If you rent or own:
- Seal leaks between outdoor doors and their frames with weather-stripping.
- Fill leaks around window frames and exterior walls with caulk.
- If you can, plant shady trees that grow lots of leaves around your house, so that they can cast shade on the house.
- If you are shopping for a window air conditioner, look for one with the Energy Star® label (shown to the right).
- If you can, install ceiling fans to cool rooms.
- If you rent, ask your landlord to install high efficiency equipment when replacing air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers.
If you own a home, you can also:
- Replace your old thermostat with a programmable thermostat (also called a “set back” thermostat). Those with the Energy Star® label are best.
- If you have to replace a central air conditioner unit, buy a high efficiency model with a “SEER” rating of at least 12 (look for the Energy Star® label).
If you have a central air conditioner:
- Set your thermostat as warm as possible while still comfortable. Recommended levels are 72° Fahrenheit (22° Celsius) when the house is occupied, and 78 (25° Celsius) when you are away from home or sleeping.
- Close the air vents in unused rooms and keep the air vents clear of draperies, furniture and obstructions that block cool air.
- Keep the windows and doors closed when you are running the air conditioner.
- Clean the furnace air filter every month. Replace it at least once every three months.
- Place lamps, TVs, etc. away from the thermostat. They can give off heat that trick the thermostat.
- Clean the outside condenser coil on the air conditioner unit once a year to keep it free of debris.
For more information:
- Power$mart: Sign up for a free e-newsletter that has easy Tips to save you money at http://www.bchydro.com/news/newsletters/connected.html
- Energy Star: Call toll-free at 1-888-STAR-YES or visit http://www.energystar.gov/
- Energy Guide https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=HOME_ENERGY_YARDSTICK.showGetStarted
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (free): http://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver