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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through October 15, 2014
 
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HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

DIVISION 202

OREGON ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

813-202-0005

Definitions

All terms used in OAR 813, division 202, are defined in the Act, in 813-005-0005, and in this 813-202-0005. As used in OAR 813, division 202, unless the context indicates otherwise:

(1) “CAP agency” means a private nonprofit corporation organized under ORS Chapter 65, or an office, division or agency of a political subdivision designated by the Department of Health and Human Services as a community action agency pursuant to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which meets the requirements outlined in ORS 458.505(4).

(2) “DHS” means the Oregon Department of Human Services.

(3) “Energy assistance” means the services provided under the Program and may include energy bill payment assistance and client education.

(4) “Energy assistance payments” means payments for the energy costs of eligible households which the Department pays to energy suppliers, households and may include any of the following:

(a) Prepayment for electricity prior to its delivery;

(b) Payment for pre-enrollment charges for those services delivered before a household is determined to be eligible for OEAP benefits;

(c) Payment for post-enrollment charges for services delivered after a household is determined to be eligible for OEAP benefits; and

(d) Payment of incidental fees and costs of maintaining or reestablishing service such reconnection charges, deposits and other required charges of energy suppliers.

(5) “Energy costs” means costs related to the heating of dwelling units with electricity.

(6) “Expenditure area” means the utility service territory of the Originating Utility. This expenditure area may include multiple counties.

(7) “Energy supplier” means a company that provides electricity continuously via wires as the source of energy supplying heat to a household.

(8) “Household” means any individual living alone or group of individuals who are living together as one economic unit and who purchase residential energy in common.

(9) “Income” means the total annual household receipts before taxes from all sources. Income does not include assets or funds over which the applicant has no control.

(10) “Local service providers” means those a private, nonprofit corporation organized under ORS Chapter 65, a housing authority established under 456.055 to 456.235, or a local government as defined in 197.015 with whom the Department has contracted to administer Program activities and services at the local level.

(11) “OEAP” or “Program” means the Oregon Energy Assistance Program, the low-income electric bill payment assistance program.

(12) “Originating Utility” means the utility from which the funds being expended under the Program were collected.

(13) “Service area” means the specific geographic area or region within which a local service provider provides Program services.

(14) “Utility service territory” means the geographic area in Oregon within which a utility provides electricity service.

(15) “Oregon median income” means the median income in Oregon, based on the guideline for the non-farm population of the State of Oregon produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0010

Administration

(1) The Department has been designated as the administering agency for the Oregon Energy Assistance Program.

(2) The Department may select those CAP agencies or local service providers, which have satisfactorily provided the Department with energy assistance services in prior years as local service providers. The Department shall enter into a contract with each of the agencies selected to provide Program services within its service area, on such terms as the Department shall determine. Upon completion of a local service provider’s contract, the Department shall conduct an evaluation of such local service provider’s performance. Factors that the Department may consider are the level of service provided, error rate and ease of access to the services for eligible households within the service area. If the performance of a local service provider is found by the Department to be deficient, the Department may either require that the local service provider provide assurance of improvement by a written corrective action plan, or may select another local service provider.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0015

Responsibilities of Local Service Providers

(1) Local service providers shall provide Program services to or on behalf of those households and residents within its service area. Local service providers shall take applications, verify the income of applicants, complete payment authorizations and contract with and monitor energy suppliers to ensure that eligible households within their service areas receive proper benefits and services. Local service providers are responsible to ensure that disbursed funds are expended in the utility service territory of the Originating Utility.

(2) Local service providers are responsible to ensure funds are disbursed in a timely manner. Funds not expended by a local service provider in a timely manner are subject to being reallocated and redistributed to statewide service providers of the Originating Utilities for distribution within the utility service territory of these Originating Utilities.

(3) Local service providers shall attempt to recover overpayments made to energy suppliers on behalf of eligible households within their service areas. When recovery from a energy supplier is not possible, the name and social security number of the customer receiving unrecovered overpayments shall be turned over by OHCS to the Oregon Department of Revenue for recovery through the Set Off Individual Liability (SOIL) program.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184, 456.555, 757.612 & 757.617
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.555
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; Suspended by OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0020

Eligibility

(1) An eligible household is a household, including homeowners and renters whose utility cost is included in their rent on an undifferentiated basis, with an income at or below 60 percent of the Oregon median income in effect at the start of the Program year, with demonstrated energy costs.

(2) Except as provided in the next sentence, the period for determining a household’s income eligibility shall not be more than the 12 months preceding the date of application or less than the 30 days immediately preceding the date of application. A DHS income verification notification may be presented by a DHS client at the time of application as evidence of the household’s verified income.

(3) A resident of government subsidized housing may be eligible for up to 50 percent of a regular energy assistance payment, depending on household size and income, and may be eligible to receive a crisis energy assistance payment.

(4) A resident of an institution is not eligible for energy assistance under the Program. Institutions include hospitals, licenses domiciliary care facilities, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilities or homes, alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers or treatment programs, dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and temporary protective facilities such as domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 3-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-9-05 thru 5-8-06; Administrative correction 7-21-06; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0030

Program Services

(1) A household may apply for energy assistance at the local service provider that serves its geographic area. Priority assistance shall be given to low-income consumers who are in danger of having their electricity service disconnected.

(2) Local service agencies shall help applicants determine which energy assistance service is most appropriate. The following services may be provided to eligible households:

(a) Regular Energy Assistance. Regular energy assistance includes payments for the energy costs of eligible households which the Department makes to the energy suppliers for these eligible households.

(b) Emergency Energy Assistance: If sufficient funds are available, requests for emergency energy assistance payments may be considered by the local service providers. Each emergency energy assistance payment shall be approved by an authorized person other than an intake worker at the local service provider before disbursement. Households eligible for emergency energy assistance payments include a household with annual energy costs exceeding 20 percent of its household income, and a household that suffer a serious, unexpected hardship.

(c) Client Education: All eligible households may be offered information designed to help them make good decisions and life style choices to effectively reduce energy consumption.

(3) Households in similar circumstances shall receive similar benefits.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-014 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0040

Limitation on Energy Assistance Payments

Energy assistance payments are limited to the amount of funds made available under ORS 757.612(7)(b), (c) and (d).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184& 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0050

Responsibilities of Energy Suppliers

(1) Energy suppliers shall not:

(a) Discriminate against eligible households; or

(b) Treat any applicant households any differently because they are receiving OEAP benefits.

(2) Energy suppliers shall:

(a) Charge a household in the normal billing process the difference between the actual energy costs and the amount of the energy assistance payment;

(b) Promptly apply energy assistance payments to the eligible household’s account upon receipt of notification of authorization for payment from the local service provider of the Program;

(c) Attempt to make payment arrangements for any balances owing after energy assistance payments are applied to past due bills; and

(d) Return any undisbursed funds to the Department in the event that utility services cannot be delivered because of death or if the customer cannot be located after utility services are discontinued.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

813-202-0060

Administrative Hearings

A local service provider shall provide an administrative hearing, if requested, for any resident within its service area whose application for energy assistance is denied or not acted upon by a local service provider (local agency) in a timely manner.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14; Administrative correction, 5-2-14

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