News Release

Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers, Inc.
PO Box 496, Painesville, OH 44077
Contact: Carrie Dotson | (440) 354-2148 |

Help Available to Beat the Heat through August 31

August 24, 2016
PAINESVILLE, Ohio— With the string of recent days where the temperatures have reached over 90 degrees, many local residents are struggling to stay cool. Lifeline, Inc. and Ohio Development Services Agency want to remind residents that help is available to beat the heat during these hot summer days. Lake County residents can contact Lifeline, Inc. for resources to cool their homes.

The HEAP Summer Crisis Program, which began July 1 and runs through August 31, provides assistance to low-income households with an elderly member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health. This can include lung disease; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; or asthma. Applicants must be Lake County residents and must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance.

As the eligibility guidelines have changed from last year’s SCP, participants are recommended to contact the Lifeline, Inc. Energy Assistance Office to see if they meet eligibility guidelines at (440) 350-9160. Information is also available on the Lifeline website at

To apply for the program, customers are required to schedule an appointment with Lifeline, Inc. Customers need to bring:

  • a copy of their most recent energy bill. If applicant is moving, pending account numbers must be
    provided for new utility accounts,
  • a list of all household members and proof of income for the last 90 days for each member
  • proof of citizenship or legal resident (photo ID and social security cards for all household members,
    and physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health (if thereisn’t a household member over the age of 60).
  • If any utilities are included in applicant’s rent, a current lease copy will also be required.
  • Additional documents may be required on a case by case basis.

Eligible households can receive up to $300 if they are a customer of a regulated utility like First Energy, or $500 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as City of Painesville Utilities. Utility assistance is applied to a customer’s utility bill or applied to central air conditioning repair costs.

Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP Plus) are not eligible for bill payment assistance through the program but are encouraged to work with Lifeline staff to identify other opportunities for assistance.

While all appointments for the remainder of the Summer Crisis Program are booked, a limited number of walkins will be accepted on a first come, first served basis on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Only customers who meet the eligibility requirements and have all required documentation will be able to complete their application process.

Lifeline’s HEAP automated appointment line, 1-866-223-1471, provides callers a list of the required documents needed to complete an application.

Lifeline Executive Director, Carrie Dotson, said that numbers have been steady so far this summer, but that with the recent extreme heat, the demand for air conditioners was especially high.

“It’s been a steady season for the Summer Crisis Program,” said Dotson. “We’re helping a lot of senior citizens, as well as folks with health issues, so it’s really great to be able to offer them this kind of assistance and keep our most vulnerable residents safe in the hot weather.”

As of August 23, Lifeline staff approved nearly 300 applications for assistance in the first seven weeks of the program. Lifeline has also already distributed all 50 air conditioners that were purchased. Nearly $45,000 has been expended as of August 23.

For more information on the HEAP Programs, please contact Lifeline, Inc.’s Energy Assistance Office at (440) 350-9160. Lifeline’s Energy Assistance Office is located at 54 S. State Street, Suite 303 in Painesville and opens daily at 8:30 a.m.

Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers was founded in 1973 with the mission of helping Lake County residents by providing them assistance and life skills programming that is designed to increase self-sufficiency. In 1980 Lifeline became a participating agency of the United Way of Lake County, UWLC, and in 1987 was designated a community action agency by the Ohio Development Services Agency, ODSA. In 2008, Lifeline was designated as a mental health agency by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Today Lifeline continues with the same mission of helping Lake County’s low-income residents break the cycle of poverty and make the transition from agency-dependency to self-sufficiency. Lifeline’s current programming includes services in the healthcare, housing & energy assistance, information & referral services and consumer education & job training areas. Our motto is ‘helping people, changing
lives.’ Lifeline is currently funded by the UWLC and by grants through the ODSA, the Lake County Board of Commissioners, the Lake County ADAMHS Board, Lake County Department of Job & Family Services, the City of Mentor, the Western Reserve Junior Service League and through private donors.