Special to 1831Galion

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has issued its Special Reconnect Order for the upcoming heating season. The Special Reconnect Order helps Ohioans served by PUCO-regulated utilities reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the winter heating season between Oct. 16, 2023 and April 15, 2024.

Any residential customer of a PUCO-regulated electric or natural gas company may take advantage of the provisions contained in the order once per winter heating season. Last winter heating season more than 198,000 Ohioans used the Special Reconnect Order.   

“Today the Commission issues its Special Reconnect Order which serves as an important lifeline for Ohioans,” stated PUCO Chair Jenifer French. “Those facing disconnection from their home heating source can use the PUCO’s Special Reconnect Order to ensure they stay connected during the upcoming heating season.”

Under the Special Reconnect Order, customers must pay the utility no more than $175 plus any applicable reconnection charge which cannot exceed $36. If the utility’s reconnect charge is greater than $36, the balance above $36 may be charged to the customer on the customer’s next monthly bill. 

The Special Reconnect Order also applies to customers seeking to establish new electric or natural gas service provided they are served by PUCO-regulated utilities. Rather than paying the full security deposit that may be required for new service, customers can pay up to $175 and the balance above $175 may be charged to the customer on the customer’s next monthly bill.

There is no income eligibility requirement to use the Special Reconnect Order; however, customers who are at or below 175 percent of the federal income guidelines may apply for assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) winter crisis program to pay the $175 amount.

If you would like to take advantage of the Special Reconnect Order, contact your electric or natural gas utility between October 16, 2023, through April 15, 2024 to find out how to apply the Special Reconnect Order to your bill. Utility representatives will explain the order and set up a payment plan to address any remaining balance on your account after the $175 has been applied. A list of PUCO-regulated utilities is available on the PUCO website.

More information about energy assistance programs and ways to save on home heating bills this winter is available on the PUCO’s website here

Customers who have questions about PUCO’s Special Reconnect Order may contact the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or visit PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.   

A copy of today’s finding and order and the Special Reconnect Order report can be found on the PUCO website www.PUCO.ohio.gov by clicking on the link to Documents and Rules, then Docketing Information System (DIS) and searching case 23-856-GE-UNC.  

Source: PUCO; Image by Boris Bukovský from Pixabay