Ohio winter heating reconnect program ordered

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's utilities regulator has ordered a winter reconnect program this winter that allows gas and electric customers to regain or maintain their heating service.

The order issued this week by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio allows electric and gas customers who have been disconnected or face disconnection to have service restored or maintained under the program. They must pay the amount owed or $175, whichever is less, plus a service reconnection fee of no more than $36.

Customers may use the program once during the winter heating season between Oct. 14, 2013 and April 15, 2014.

More than 276,000 Ohio utility customers used the program last year.

It is only available to customers of the PUCO-regulated electric and natural gas utilities serving about seven million residential customers in Ohio.

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.