How we're serving Ohioans during this time

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March 2020 newsletter

What we're doing to help

We're dedicated to keeping the lights on, homes warm and highways safe amid the COVID-19 crisis. In this newsletter, we'll share a few of the things we're doing to help Ohio citizens. If you have questions about COVID-19 or what it means for your household, visit or call the hotline below.

Coronavirus help


Utility reconnect order extended and utilities to suspend disconnections

The PUCO extended its winter reconnect order through May 1, 2020. The Winter Reconnect Order helps Ohioans reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the heating season between Oct. 14, 2019 and May 1, 2020.

Additionally, PUCO-regulated utilities are reviewing their policies and identifying where it may be prudent to suspend, for the duration of the emergency, any policies that would impose a service restoration hardship. The Commission also encourages those utilities not regulated by the PUCO to implement similar procedures. 

The Commission also directed utilities to coordinate and communicate with local community action agencies and other community-based organizations to ensure that utility service to customers is maintained during the state of emergency.


Home Energy Assistance Program and Winter Crisis Program extended

Families can now apply for the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program until May 1, 2020. The Winter Crisis Program is a one-time benefit to customers of a regulated utility that have a disconnection notice, have been disconnected from their utility service or have less than 25% supply of bulk fuel to maintain their utility service.

The regular Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP application will now be open until June 1, 2020. Families that have not already received a Winter Crisis or regular-HEAP benefit can apply. 

For more information, visit the Ohio Development Services Agency's page on utility assistance.


Utilities to suspend home meter readings

Ohio’s electric, natural gas, water & wastewater distribution utilities have suspended any in-person meter reading activities and any other non-essential work that would create unnecessary social contact.

Functions that are necessary to initiate new service or to ensure the continuity of service are deemed essential and will continue during the state of emergency.


Competitive energy suppliers to halt door-to-door, in-person marketing

Ohio’s competitive natural gas and electric providers have halted door-to-door and in-person marketing to avoid unnecessary social contact. 

Customers of PUCO-regulated electric and natural gas utilities continue to have the option to enroll with a competitive supplier of their choosing. The PUCO maintains its Energy Choice Website at to allow customers to compare offers from competitive suppliers.


PUCO grants hours-of-service relief to intrastate trucks hauling relief supplies

The PUCO extended temporary regulatory relief from the hours-of-service requirements for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting consumer goods, medical supplies, gasoline, diesel, propane, heating oil, and waste within the state of Ohio.

The regulatory relief is effective immediately and will remain in effect for the duration of Ohio’s state of emergency or unless rescinded.

Carriers subject to this regulatory relief are not exempt from any other motor carrier safety regulations, including commercial driver’s licensing, controlled substance and alcohol use and testing requirements, and financial responsibility requirements. Carriers should continue to maintain records of duty status and take all measures to ensure that drivers have the ability to safely operate their commercial vehicles.

Census 2020

Census 2020

Census 2020 is Ohio’s chance to make sure that every individual is
counted and has a voice. This opportunity to count the population
only comes once every decade and shapes how Ohio will budget and
operate for the next 10 years. The success of the Census depends on
everyone’s participation.

Responding to the the Census only takes around 10 minutes - if you've received your invitation to participate this month, you can reply today!

US Chamber: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: What Small Businesses Need to Know

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has published resources for small businesses to assist in understanding recent federal legislation, known as the CARES Act. A provision of the CARES Act includes partial loan forgiveness for utility payments. Learn more on the Chamber's website.

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Need help?

If you have questions about your utility service during this time, please contact the PUCO through our online form. 

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