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Archive: Oct 2018

Dollar Energy Fund presents Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Posted on: October 31, 2018

Every year, Shadrack’s spreads Christmas cheer in Butler County by hosting a spectacular drive-through light attraction at Big Butler Fairgrounds. For the second year, Dollar Energy Fund is proud to be the presenting sponsor and benefiting charity of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland.

The attraction will be open every evening from November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019. The light show features three miles of custom made displays synced to holiday music. See the all new SANTA’S SAFARI theme of displays where Santa and pals are on vacation featuring custom built, giant, all-LED displays! Visit the new and improved Santa’s Village (free with light show admission) and enjoy souvenirs, rides and refreshments!

Tickets are $25 per car and available for purchase on-site. Shadrack’s accepts cash and credit cards. New this year, Dollar Energy Fund is partnering with Chick-fil-A to distribute coupons at participating locations in the area. Coupons are good for $2 off admission Sunday through Thursday. Visit a participating Chick-fil-A location or download the digital coupon below.

For every coupon redeemed, $1.00 will go to Dollar Energy Fund. Bring your family, join the fun and support our mission of helping limited-income families stay warm this winter. For more information on Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, visit shadrackchristmas.com/pittsburgh-pa.

Throughout the season, Dollar Energy Fund will be giving away free car passes on our Facebook page. Like our page for your chance to participate!

Pennsylvania LIHEAP Opens November 1st

Posted on: October 31, 2018

LIHEAP

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program available to help eligible customers in Pennsylvania with their heating bills. The program will be open from November 1, 2018 to April 12, 2019. LIHEAP can offer much needed relief for thousands of people across the state who rely on the service.

On October 26, 2018, the Office of Community Services at the Department of Health and Human Services released LIHEAP funds for FY19. The $3.65 billion appropriated for LIHEAP constitutes a 9% increase in funding over the previous year. Unlike in previous years, the Act signed into law has appropriated LIHEAP funds for the entire FY19. LIHEAP has received improved funding of $300 million since FY17, thanks to the good work of program advocates. The total amount allocated to Pennsylvania is more than $206 million.

Customers can apply for components of LIHEAP online through the DHS COMPASS website, at county assistance offices, via mail with a paper application, and through their utility company. In the winter, funds can be used to pay for any home heating source including natural gas, electric, home heating oil, propane, kerosene, wood and coal. In rare instances, funds can also be used to pay water bills where customers have specific types of boilers, certain types of steam heat, or other uncommon water heating systems.

As part of our guidelines, Dollar Energy Fund requires customers seeking grants to apply for LIHEAP funds first if they are eligible, while the program is open. LIHEAP program funding and eligibility varies by state.

For more information, check out this informational brochure or visit the PA DHS website.

Not located in PA? To find out whether you are eligible to receive LIHEAP benefits in your state, contact your state or tribal LIHEAP office. Click here for contact information.

Energy Vampires Take a Bite Out of Your Wallet

Posted on: October 31, 2018

Halloween is over, but it’s likely you still have vampires lurking around your home. Our home’s appliances and electronics — from coffee makers to TV’s and gaming consoles — often suck up power even when they are not being used. Some products can even consume as much as 25% of their full power when turned off.

 

Be aware of the most common energy vampires:

Gaming Consoles
Most kids keep their video game consoles, like PlayStation and Xbox, always plugged in, making them easily accessible for quick gaming. The scary part is that these consoles are still draining power, even while sleeping.

Toaster & Coffee Maker
Most of us only use our toaster or coffee maker for a few minutes each morning, but we keep it plugged in at all times. Toasters, microwaves, and other small kitchen appliances can quickly add unused energy to your bill and become costly. When you add up all the time your microwave spends in “standby” mode, it actually consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food.

Cable Box
The cable box and DVR are some of the most well-known energy vampires. These boxes are always on to record shows and still operate at nearly full capacity, without providing any benefit. It’s like leaving the lights on in a totally empty house.

Small Electronics
Remember, anything with a LED display is a vampire! Alarm clocks, cell phone chargers, as well as space heaters and air conditioning units are still costing you money when unused.

 

Unused energy can account for 10 percent or more of your electricity bill. Stop energy vampires from taking a bite out of your wallet by taking these steps:

1. Unplug devices you don’t use daily. For instance, check electronics in the guest bedroom or a second fridge in the garage that is rarely used.

2. Unplug devices that are fully charged, such as electric razors and power tools.

2. Unplugging everything is unrealistic. Instead, use smart power strips with on/off switches to easily turn groups of electronics off when not in use, effectively reducing unnecessary electricity consumption and saving money. This is an inexpensive and easy solution. When you’re ready, turn the power strip on and all your appliances are ready to go!

3. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics, which are vampire-proof. ENERGY STAR has made it their mission to cut standby power consumption in its products and use less energy all around.

AmazonSmile Increases Donation Rate 10x

Posted on: October 29, 2018

AmazonSmile

Thanks to supporters shopping at smile.amazon.com, AmazonSmile has donated over $100 million to charities around the world! To celebrate, AmazonSmile is launching the biggest bonus donation to date — 5% for 5 days. From October 29 – November 2, Amazon is donating 5%, ten times their usual rate, on all eligible purchases when YOU shop at smile.amazon.com.

By supporting Dollar Energy Fund through AmazonSmile, you will help a family afford basic utility service this season. Click here to sign up and select Dollar Energy Fund as your charity. Then, shop on Amazon through the smile.amazon.com link.

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a percentage of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. There is no additional cost to you!

As always, all funds received by Dollar Energy Fund will be matched dollar for dollar by our partnering utility companies. This is a great way to support our Hardship Program and help the thousands of families who risk facing the rest of the year without basic utility service.

Tell your friends and family to help us spread the word about this great deal!

Pella Windows and Doors of Pittsburgh

Posted on: October 15, 2018

Fall is a great time to get home improvement projects underway. If you are currently thinking about window and door replacement in your home, Dollar Energy Fund can benefit from your purchase. Dollar Energy Fund is partnered with Pella Windows and Doors of Pittsburgh. By purchasing Pella products, you can help your neighbors in need and receive an exclusive discount on your purchase not available to the rest of the market. Pella Windows and Doors of Pittsburgh will donate 5% of your purchase to our organization. You will also receive 2% off your purchase on top of current promotion until 11/25/2018. This offer is available for homeowners purchasing both product and installation from Pella and is available exclusively through Sales Manager Mike Weisberg at 412-295-6547.

Pella Corporation is an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year five years in a row. Click here to learn more about how windows and doors can reduce the costs of heating and cooling your home.

Grant Applications Now Being Accepted for 2018-2019 Program Year

Posted on: October 1, 2018

Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program, a utility assistance program available to eligible, limited-income households in need of help with their gas, water and electric bills, will begin accepting applications for its 2018-2019 Program Year on Monday, October 1, 2018.

Dollar Energy Fund provides one-time grants to households facing an immediate utility crisis. With help from the program, families in need can receive up to $500 in grant funding that’s applied directly to their utility account to prevent a termination or restore their service. Households may be eligible for one grant for each of their utilities per program year.

“The demand for utility assistance has remained constant throughout the 35 years our organization has been serving as a resource for those facing difficult financial decisions centered on utility payments, but our grants offer relief to those who may not qualify for state and federal assistance programs and allows many of our neighbors in need to maintain or restore basic and safe service,” said Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer.

Those seeking help should first contact their utility company for eligibility screening and to be referred to a community based agency for assistance with Dollar Energy Fund’s application process. This approach connects households with additional services that may also be available to limited-income households, such as food, childcare and career assistance.

 

Grant funding applications are currently being accepted for customers of the following utilities:

Arkansas:

  • SWEPCO

California:

  • California Water Service Company

Connecticut:

  • South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority

Kentucky:

  • Kentucky American Water

Louisiana:

  • SWEPCO

Maryland:

  • Columbia Gas of Maryland

Pennsylvania:

  • Citizens Electric
  • Clairton Municipal Authority
  • Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania
  • Duquesne Light Company
  • Met-Ed, a FirstEnergy Company
  • Penelec, a FirstEnergy Company
  • Penn Power, a FirstEnergy Company
  • Pennsylvania American Water
  • Peoples Natural Gas
  • Peoples Gas Company, LLC (formerly Peoples TWP)
  • Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
  • Valley Energy
  • Wellsboro Electric
  • West Penn Power, a FirstEnergy Company

Texas:

  • SWEPCO

Virginia:

  • Columbia Gas of Virginia
  • Old Dominion Power Company
  • Virginia American Water Company, Inc.

West Virginia:

  • Dominion Energy West Virginia
  • Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Company
  • Mountaineer Gas
  • Peoples Gas
  • Potomac Edison, a FirstEnergy Company
  • West Virginia American Water

 

On December 3, 2018, assistance programs will open for customers of AEP Ohio, Appalachian Power Company in West Virginia and Virginia, and Kingsport Power Company in Tennessee.

Dollar Energy Fund’s nationwide network of Community Based Organizations is now taking applications from limited-income customers. Applications for most programs will continue to be accepted through September 30, 2019, or until funds are depleted.

Eligibility guidelines vary by utility. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergy.org/need-help.

The organization, which is celebrating its 35th year of offering utility assistance, is a national leader in utility assistance. Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship grants have helped more than 537,000 families maintain or restore safe utility services.

Dollar Energy Fund is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar for dollar by partnering utility companies. Utility customers are also able to contribute a dollar or more to Dollar Energy Fund through their monthly utility bill. Direct donations can be made online at www.dollarenergy.org/donate, by sending a check to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, or by texting GIVE5 to 50555 to authorize a $5 contribution. Message and data rates may apply. Every donation to Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program is tax deductible and we direct 100 percent of all funds back into the community and provide assistance to the most vulnerable individuals, families and senior citizens.

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for a grant from the Hardship Program, or to make a donation to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.

 

 

About Dollar Energy Fund, Inc.

Dollar Energy fund was founded in 1983 and has grown to become the largest hardship fund in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization in the state of Pennsylvania. Since 1983, the organization has provided $148 million in utility assistance grants to more than 537,000 limited-income families and individuals. The organization also assists limited-income households in West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, California and Connecticut. Individuals interested in contributing to Dollar Energy Fund can do so through their utility bills, by sending donations directly to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 or through the organization’s website. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund’s website www.dollarenergy.org.

Year in Review: 2017-2018

Posted on: October 1, 2018

Dollar Energy Fund kicks off a new program year this week, but we can’t stop celebrating the accomplishments we shared together this past year. Our success would not be possible without the constant support from all of our partners, agencies, donors, staff, board members, community leaders, businesses and more. By sharing Dollar Energy Fund’s dedication and passion for helping your neighbors in need, you have allowed us to continue our work for more than 35 years. Let us look back at some highlights of the 2017-2018 program year (October 2017 – September 2018):

  • In November, our Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart Campaign kicked off its 9th annual event with a reception at Hearth and Home Furnishings in Zelienople. Efforts to date have brought our nine-year total to more than $138,000, including a generous match from Peoples, to assist gas customers throughout Butler County.
  • Dollar Energy Fund was proud to be the presenting sponsor and benefiting charity of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland this season.
  • Dollar Energy Fund began a partnership with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to establish a bill discount, lead line replacement, and hardship program for limited-income customers.
  • Duquesne Light Company supported Dollar Energy Fund during its Power It Forward campaign through a 24-hour social media fundraiser and text-to-give campaign that raised $10,000 for Pittsburghers in need.
  • Vineyard Vines in Ross Park Mall hosted an in-store 10/10 event. For a 3-hour period, every customer received 10% off their purchase while Vineyard Vines donated 10% back to Dollar Energy Fund.
  • Dollar Energy Fund hosted a new event with iHeartMedia and 3WS Pittsburgh called the Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon where supporters could donate to request a song. The event raised more than $77,300 to provide utility assistance to approximately 215 Pittsburgh families and individuals who were struggling to stay warm.Request-A-Thon
  • Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania hosted a fundraiser in partnership with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which donated a portion of every Pittsburgh ticket sold to Dollar Energy Fund, totaling more than $12,200.
  • In January, Dollar Energy Fund raised more than $222,000 during its 4th Annual Cool Down for Warmth event in Market Square, all with the help of local business leaders, sponsors, utility partners and many generous community individuals. The amount raised gave assistance to approximately 635 Pittsburgh families and individuals who were struggling to afford safe utility service.
  • During Cool Down for Warmth, we hosted a Bowls for Warmth Lunch in the Square Soup Tasting, where local restaurants participated in a soup challenge and served cups of soup to the lunchtime crowd. Fifteen local restaurants showed up to support Dollar Energy Fund and the lunch event raised over $20,000 in two days, including a match from our utility partners.
  • In February, Dollar Energy Fund’s 10th annual Warmathon on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA raised $150,000, which helped 430 Pittsburgh-area households.
  • Through our partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins, we hosted a variety of fundraisers this season to expand our reach and awareness in the community. Our Jerseys for Warmth Auction and Fan Appreciation Night Raffle raised over $80,000 combined, including a match from our utility partners.
  • During the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show in March, Dollar Energy Fund teamed up with Dormont Appliance for a raffle to benefit limited-income Duquesne Light customers.
  • Dollar Energy Fund partnered with the Columbus Blue Jackets to raise funds and increase our reach in Ohio through a variety of different raffles, including the CannonBall, Jerseys Off Our Backs, and CBJ Special Jersey Auction.
  • Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Information Officer, Sean Smiles, was named a 2018 CIO of the Year Nonprofit Finalist by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
  • On April 19, 2018, Dollar Energy Fund marked its 35th anniversary of helping our neighbors in need and kicked off a year-long celebration to recognize the milestone. The City of Pittsburgh recognized Dollar Energy Fund with a proclamation during the City Council meeting on April 24, 2018. Read about the history of Dollar Energy Fund.
  • Dollar Energy Fund hosted its first fishing tournament, Fishing for a Cause, on Sunday, April 22, 2018. We welcomed more than 75 boats to Smith Mountain Lake – Parkway Marina, Virginia. The event raised $20,150, including a utility partner match, to assist limited-income customers of Appalachian Power Company maintain or restore basic electric service through our Virginia Neighbor to Neighbor Program.
  • In May, Dollar Energy Fund was an exhibitor at this year’s CS Week Conference in Tampa, Florida, to share our solutions on managing low-income utility assistance programs, creating customized cloud-based software technology, and providing customer contact call center services.
  • In June, Dollar Energy Fund welcomed 32 foursomes and more than 120 guests to the 10th Annual Golf Classic at Quicksilver Golf Club. This event is a fan favorite, featuring 18-holes of golf, our famous Bloody Mary bar, spiked Rita’s Italian Ice, a delicious lunch and more!
  • A week after the Golf Classic, Dollar Energy Fund attended the Pittsburgh EggFest, hosted by Hearth & Home Furnishings in Zelienople. We received $670 in proceeds from a Big Green Egg raffle, which was matched by Peoples for a total of $1,340. This amount will go towards our 10th Annual Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart Campaign, which kicks off on November 1, 2018.
  • Several members of Dollar Energy Fund’s staff and management team attended the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) 2018 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on June 26-28, 2018. Dollar Energy Fund was presented with the Victorine Q. Adams Award for raising public awareness and generating financial aid for people in need of energy assistance through our Cool Down for Warmth fundraiser. Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer, finished out his final conference as the President for NEUAC’s Board of Directors.
  • In July, Dollar Energy Fund received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charitable organizations. This is the highest possible rating and indicates that our organization adheres to best practices and has a commitment to financial accountability and transparency.
  • Once again this season, Dollar Energy Fund continues its partnership with Pitt Football by sponsoring The Pat Narduzzi Show. We are giving away a weekly VIP package to the show to those who like or follow us on social media. The contest will run until November 21, 2018.
  • Dollar Energy Fund began a new partnership with Kelly Services in September.
  • On Friday, September 14, 2018, we joined our partners in celebration at the Rivers Casino for our 35th Annual Luncheon. We gathered with approximately 150 guests to honor the utility partners, employees, community organizations and leaders who worked diligently this year to bring Dollar Energy Fund’s mission to life.
  • This year, Dollar Energy Fund celebrated milestone years of partnership with the following utility companies:
    • Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania – 35 years of partnership
    • Duquesne Light Company – 35 years of partnership
    • Peoples Natural Gas – 35 years of partnership
    • Appalachian Power Company – 10 years of partnership
    • Columbia Gas of Maryland – 10 years of partnership
    • Dominion Energy West Virginia – 10 years of partnership
    • Peoples Natural Gas – 10 years of partnership
    • Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Company – 10 years of partnership
    • Mountaineer Gas – 10 years of partnership
    • Potomac Ed, a FirstEnergy Company – 10 years of partnership
    • West Virginia American Water Company – 10 years of partnership
  • Dollar Energy Fund had the opportunity to attend and present at the 2018 Pittsburgh Be Utility Wise Conference in September, organized by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Since 1983, we have assisted 537,000 households by distributing $148 million in utility assistance nationwide. With your help, we can continue to provide immediate and direct assistance during our 2018-2019 program year. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, can make an extraordinary impact by ensuring local, limited-income families maintain or restore safe utility service and get on a path to self-sufficiency. If you would like to get involved during this program year, subscribe to our email newsletters and get the latest updates. We have many more fundraising opportunities.

On behalf of the many individuals, seniors and families we have helped, we thank you for your continued support!

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