As the winter heating season approaches, Dominion Energy Ohio is offering customers facing financial hardship more flexible payment options on past due balances. The company remains committed to providing safe, economical, and reliable energy, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities across the country.
The company also reminds customers of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s annual Winter Reconnection Order, which took effect October 5. All residential customers, regardless of income, may avoid a shutoff or restore gas service once during the heating season, between October 5 and through April 15, 2021 by paying the lesser of:
• the entire past-due balance on your gas bill;
• the past-due payments if you are on a special payment plan;
• or $175.
If customers are having trouble paying their bills, the company
offers both short-term payment extensions and long-term payment plans to help residential and commercial customers manage their balances and catch up over time. Customers may qualify for one of several Dominion Energy or State of Ohio programs. Dominion Energy offerings include:
• Budget Billing allows customers to pay a fixed budget amount each month, based on annual gas usage. Dominion Energy Ohio periodically reviews the budget amount and adjusts it, if necessary, so that the customer will not have a high balance or large credit at the end of the budget year.
• Budget Plus: The company offers additional flexibility for customers who enroll in our Budget Plus payment plan. Under Budget Plus, we are now allowing customers to pay off past due amounts over 12 months.
• Current-Plus Plan: Customers with a past-due balance pay their current monthly bill, plus one-sixth of the total account balance at the time they enroll in the plan.
• The One-Ninth Plan allows customers to pay one-ninth of their total account balance each month plus a calculated budget amount.
• Under the 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, 2020, through April 15, 2021.
• Short–Term Extension grants up to five additional days to pay before the next bill date.
Dominion Energy offers direct help through EnergyShare, our program for those facing financial hardships, who have exhausted all other forms of energy assistance. The Salvation Army administers the program. EnergyShare is funded with company contributions and supplemented with donations from customers and employees. EnergyShare participants must be Dominion Energy Ohio residential customers and must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Customers may contact the Salvation Army for more information.
Finally, the following programs are available for income-eligible customers who can apply for all programs with one application at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov, which provides income guidelines as well:
• Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus): To qualify for this special payment plan, developed by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, a customer’s yearly gross household income can be up to 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Under PIPP Plus, participating customers may maintain their natural gas service by paying 6 percent of their total gross monthly household income, or $10, whichever is greater.
• Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides a one- time heating bill credit during the winter heating season. HEAP is available to customers whose yearly gross household income is up to 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Customers can learn more by calling 1.800.362.7557. Information is also available 24/7 online at www.DominionEnergy.com.