TROY, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Development (ODD) and local agencies recently re-launched an assistance program to offset costly energy bills this winter.

Applications for the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program opened on Wednesday and run through March 31.

The program is federally funded and helps residents whose gross annual household income is at or below 175% of the federal poverty level.

Applicants will need to provide:

  • Copies of most recent energy bills
  • A list of all household members
  • Proof of income for the last 30 days or 12 months for each member
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members
  • Proof of disability if applicable

“We certainly don’t want families to have to make a choice between paying their bills or keeping their loved ones warm this winter. So this is a great program that we have to help keep Ohio families warm and comfortable and safe this winter season.” said Lydia Mihalik, director of ODD.

The Miami County Community Action Council (MCCAC) helped almost 600 people last winter through the program. The agency is already busy processing applications this year.

“Yeah, it doesn’t take very long, but they need to call ahead. We’re booked up a couple of weeks ahead already right now for people coming in.” Keith GunderKline, MCCAC executive director.

The program works as a onetime assistance payment to an energy bill, but there is a limit on the amount of assistance you can receive.

“It depends on how you’re getting your heat, whether it’s electricity or gas. We have a lot of people who have fuel oil or coal, wood burning kind of things. And they all have different levels of what the maximum amount that you can get is.” said GunderKline.

To find more information on the program and how to apply, visit the winter crisis program website.