Weatherization providers know the refrigerator supply chain is seriously messed up. All are having difficulties sourcing appliances. The biggest problem has been with the AEP Ohio and Dayton Power & Light programs. The AEP Ohio situation was exacerbated by the use of a third-party refrigerator vendor. The initial AEP contractor stopped delivering appliances in November 2019 but wasn’t replaced until mid-summer. CLEAResult was persuaded to take the contract. However, HB 6 required the utility programs to terminate on December 31, 2020. The lack of refrigerator availability ultimately left around 470 customers without the promised appliances. Seventy DP&L customers also have not received appliances.
OPAE approached ODSA about allowing HWAP and EPP funds to be used to serve these clients. ODSA agreed to help out by allowing agencies to use their EPP funds to provide refrigerators to clients with income under 150% FPL. The Agency agreed to waive several rules that would have otherwise prevented this service, including the requirement that customers had lived in the home for 12 months; the high use requirements; and, the prohibition against single measures. OPAE is currently in contact with Honeywell to see if they will assist in the effort in Franklin, Marion, and Crawford Counties.
Customers with incomes over 150% can be served with HWAP funds (refrigerators only) if the client has received HWAP services in the past year. OPAE is also seeking funding from the AEP Foundation to serve the higher income clients who have not received HWAP services recently.