Cleveland (May 2024) – While Step Forward’s Home Energy Assistance Program is in between crisis programs, residents are encouraged to explore the agency’s programs and services to help manage their utility bills and educate themselves about their energy choices. “As we prepare to open the Summer Cooling Program in July, it’s vital for Cuyahoga residents to recognize that HEAP offers more than just emergency assistance. We are committed to providing ongoing support, empowering residents with energy education, and aiding in utility maintenance throughout the year,” emphasized Jacqueline Boehnlein, Vice President of Community Services at Step Forward. The Consumer Advisory Hotline is a free hotline service in collaboration with CHN Housing Partners that assists residents with understanding tier energy costs, avoid scams, compare energy suppliers and understand Ohio’s green pricing options. Residents can call 1-844-378-8856 to reach a representative or send an email to The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP+) helps eligible households maintain gas and electric services by paying the utility company a percentage of their household income. The program provides customers with a consistent affordable payment amount year-round and if the monthly payments are made on-time and in-full, overages and the rest of the month’s bills are forgiven. Eligible residents must be at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and a customer of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Once enrolled in PIPP+, clients must re-verify their eligibility every year.
New PIPP+ applicants must submit applications and all required documentation online at Applicants without internet access can use a client computer to submit their applications at Step Forward’s Central Neighborhood Opportunity Center, located at 1801 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114, or the West Neighborhood Opportunity Center, located at 6886 Pearl Rd, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130.
The State of Ohio uses an Energy Assistance Programs Application for utility assistance services. PIPP+ applicants should indicate their interest by checking “yes” in the Utility Information Section of the application when asked, “Do you wish to enroll in PIPP and have a regulated utility provider?” This grants Step Forward the authorization to enroll the client. PIPP+ participation is not a requirement to receive HEAP assistance. PIPP+ enrollment and participation are optional. New PIPP+ customers who are not seeking any other assistance can call our HEAP Call Center at (216) 350-8008 to request a PIPP+ enrollment appointment. The HEAP Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.