Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Summit County to hand out money for electrical help

Summit County will begin accepting applications for the Ohio Fuel Fund Grant program from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at The Job Center, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave.

The program provides financial assistance to low-income First Energy electrical customers living in central, northeastern and northwestern Ohio.

Qualified customers can receive up to the amount of their delinquent balance or $300.

All grants are distributed in the form of billing credits and can be used only for electrical usage.

Last year, the county distributed $218,901 to 958 households. The average grant was $228.

''We are focused on connecting citizens with this unique, cost-saving opportunity,'' County Executive Russ Pry said in a prepared statement. ''My administration plans to continue hosting similar events until funds run out.''

To qualify, applicants must have an active residential account with First Energy, previously applied for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and Emergency-HEAP, and have a total household income that is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

For a family of four, the qualifying income is $44,100 a year.

To submit an application, citizens must present the following items in person: personal identification, household income, electric bill balance, and customer ''good faith'' payment receipts made in the last 90 days.

Citizens who have received grant assistance within the past 12 months are not eligible.

The Ohio Fuel Fund Grant program is sponsored by the First Energy electric utility operating companies: Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison Co.

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