CIRCLEVILLE — Pickaway County residents that need help keeping warm this winter will soon have a place to turn to.

Pickaway County Community Action (PICCA) in partnership with The Ohio Development Services Agency are once again organizing the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program (HEAP).

HEAP provides assistance to income eligible Ohioans with paying their heating bills and can also assist with fuel tank replacement, testing and furnace repairs. The program will begin on Nov. 1 and run through March 2020.

“The purpose of the program is to help lower income households maintain their heating source for the winter months,” Tracey Hixon, HEAP Coordinator at PICCA, said. “We want to make sure people have a source of heat for the colder winter months.”

Eligible households can receive a payment for their main heating source and/or their secondary heating source (electric). The program can also assist with fuel tank placement, fuel tank testing and furnace repair. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $45,062.50.

Hixon said walk-in clients are accepted but encouraged people to make an appointment.

“At 8 a.m. we take the first five people, and at 1 p.m. we take the first five people,” she said.

For non-regulated eligible clients with a utility disconnection, PICCA can pay up to $750, which would cover South Central Power clients. PICCA can also pay up to $900 for bulk fuels like propane and fuel oil or pay up to $550 for wood or wood pellets.

For the appointment, Hixon said applicants should bring in a photo ID, a Social Security card or birth certificate for everyone in the household, gas or electric bills with the account number and income for the last 30 days.

Hixon said in last year’s program, 603 families in Pickaway County were assisted through the program.

Pickaway County residents who would like to make an appointment should call 1-833-359-2804. For more more information about their qualifications or services, residents are invited to contact PICCA directly at 740-477-1655.

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