Posted on: October 1, 2020
Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program, a utility assistance program providing grants for limited-income households, opened today for its 2020-2021 program year and is now accepting applications from customers in need of help with their gas, water, electric and sewer bills. New this year, special exceptions will be offered by several of the organization’s utility partners to extend assistance to those impacted by COVID-19.
Dollar Energy Fund provides grants to households facing an immediate utility crisis and funding is applied directly to their utility account to prevent a termination or to restore their service. This program is a fund of last resort, as it goes above and beyond what is available through federal, state and other programs.
“Our Hardship Program is a lifeline for households who are experiencing a financial crisis,” said Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer. “In the time of COVID-19, and with many workers experiencing a partial or total loss of income, we know that more and more families are struggling to afford their monthly utility bills. We’ve been working with our utility partners to adjust our program guidelines as necessary to ensure those in our community who are the most vulnerable are able to qualify for this much-needed assistance.”
Grant funding applications are currently being accepted for customers of the following utilities:
California Water Service Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority
Indianapolis Power & Light Company
Kentucky American Water
Columbia Gas of Maryland
Maryland American Water
Metropolitan Utilities District
Omaha Public Power District
Citizens’ Electric Company
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
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
West Penn Power, a FirstEnergy Company
West View Water Authority
Kingsport Power Company
Appalachian Power Company
Columbia Gas of Virginia
Old Dominion Power Company
Virginia American Water Company, Inc.
Appalachian Power Company
Dominion Energy West Virginia
Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Company
Potomac Edison, a FirstEnergy Company
West Virginia American Water
On November 1, 2020, assistance programs will open for customers of Indiana Michigan Power in Indiana and AEP Ohio.
Applications for most programs will continue to be accepted on a first come, first served basis through September 30, 2020, or until funds are depleted. The guidelines to qualify for assistance have been modified for customers of some utilities in response to COVID-19. 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 from a local nonprofit agency that may also be available to limited-income households, such as food, childcare and career assistance. Contact-less application may be available upon request.
“One thing we can’t stress enough is the importance of reaching out for help as soon as you need it,” said Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our program is a resource for those in need, and we encourage those who are struggling to take the first step and reach out. There are several options available to ensure utility customers are able to maintain utility service as we approach the winter heating season.”
Eligibility guidelines vary by utility and are subject to change at any time. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found by clicking below.
Dollar Energy Fund is a national leader in utility assistance. Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship grants have helped more than 586,000 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 or by sending a check to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every donation to Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program is tax deductible and additional support from the utility companies allows for 100 percent of all donations and matching funds to be used as assistance grants to help households in need.
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 programs of its kind in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization in the state of Pennsylvania. Since 1983, the organization has provided $163 million in utility assistance grants to more than 586,000 limited-income families and individuals. The organization also assists limited-income households in West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, California, Connecticut, Indiana and Nebraska. 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.