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News Release 063000

June 30, 2000  -  Columbus, Ohio  -  Handing Off Some Heat

Heating Assistance Program Shifting to Development Department

The Ohio Energy Credit Program is moving. On July 1, the program, which annually lowers heating bills for thousands of low-income elderly and disabled Ohioans, will relocate to the Department of Development. The Department of Taxation has been running the program since it began in October, 1977.

The shift to Development was decreed by a state law effective last October. The move brings together in one place all the residential energy subsidy programs. The Department of Development also administers the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP).

The Energy Credit Program is available to residents who are totally and permanently disabled, or 65 years or older. Participants must also be the head of a household (or spouse) and have an annual household income less than $9,091. Those who qualify are eligible for a 25% or 30% (determined by income) reduction of their heat bills from December through April. Residents using bulk fuel (wood, oil, gas, etc.) can receive a direct payment of $125 per season.

The Energy Credit Program during the 1999-2000 season assisted 41,876 households across Ohio.

There are currently three Department of Taxation employees assigned to the program. All will be transferring to new positions within the Department.

The Department of Development will begin taking applications for the next heating season beginning in September, 2000. For an application or information about the program, call 1-800/282-0880.

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