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PUCO offers home safety reminders

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Jan. 29, 2019) –The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers home heating safety reminders as the winter season arrives.

  1. Once a year, have your furnace, vents, flues and chimneys inspected by a qualified service professional.
  2. Never use an oven to heat the house. This can damage the oven and may cause carbon monoxide to release into the home.
  3. Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and make sure they stay at least three feet from anything that can burn such as curtains, paper and furniture. Look for models that have an automatic shut-off.
  4. Test and replace the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
  5. Leave the house immediately and call 911 if carbon monoxide is detected or you suspect a gas leak. Carbon monoxide poisoning creates flu-like symptoms and can cause extreme illness or death. Signs of a gas leak include a rotten egg or sulfur-like odor.

What should I do during a power outage?

All outages should be immediately reported to your electric company. Since many other customers may be calling at the same time, you may not be able to speak with a live person. You can still report your outage by following the automated instructions. This will let the utility company know the location and extent of the outage. The company must keep a record of all outages. To report an outage call:

American Electric Power
(800) 672-2231
Report an outage online

Duke Energy Ohio
(800) 543-5599
Report an outage online

Dayton Power & Light
(937) 331-3900
(800) 433-8500
Report an outage online

FirstEnergy
(800) 589-3101 (CEI Division)
(800) 633-4766 (OE Division)
(800) 447-3333 (TE Division)
Report an outage
Mobile app

Ohio’s electric distribution utilities also offer information regarding storms and power outages at the links below.

American Electric Power

Dayton Power and Light

 Duke Energy Ohio

FirstEnergy

Ohio Rural Coops (not regulated by PUCO)

Natural gas contacts

Columbia Gas of Ohio
www.columbiagasohio.com
(800) 344-4077

Dominion Energy Ohio
www.dominionenergy.com
(800) 950-7989

Duke Energy Ohio
www.duke-energy.com/ohres
(800) 544-6900

Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio
www.vectren.com
(800) 227-1376

Heating assistance is available

The PUCO’s winter reconnect order is available for those that have been disconnected or are threatened with disconnection from their heating source.

The Winter Reconnect Order allows residential customers the opportunity to have their service restored or maintained by paying the amount due or $175, whichever is less. If the customer’s service has already been disconnected, the customer must pay the $175 and any applicable reconnection charge not to exceed an up front payment of $36. If the company’s reconnection charge is greater than $36, the balance may be billed to the customer the following month. Customers may use the program once during the winter heating season between Oct. 15, 2018 and April 15, 2019.

Any customer of a PUCO-regulated electric or natural gas utility may take advantage of the order. Last winter heating season, more than 217,000 Ohio utility customers utilized the PUCO’s Winter Reconnect Order.

Several other state and federal programs are available to assist those who qualify. The PUCO encourages customers to explore all options including PIPP Plus, HEAP and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). More information about these programs and additional ways to save on home heating bills this winter are available at Ohio’s Winter Heating Resource website www.winterheat.ohio.gov. Visitors to this site will also find information about budget billing, energy choice and energy conservation.

For more information about enrollment in the Winter Reconnect Order, payment plans or budget billing, customers should contact their electric or natural gas utility. Customers who have utility-related questions can call the PUCO’s Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or visit www.PUCO.ohio.gov

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