2021-2022 Program Year Officially Open
Posted on: October 1, 2021
Dollar Energy Fund’s 2021-2022 Program Year opened for all states in the organization’s service territory and applications are now being accepted from limited-income customers who need assistance with their gas, water, electric and sewer utility bills. The program 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.
“We encourage those who are having difficulty paying their utility bills to reach out for help as soon as possible to see if they qualify for assistance offered by our organization in their state,” said Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer. “We know that many households are still struggling financially due to COVID-related issues, and with the winter heating season approaching, we hope those in need of assistance can utilize a grant from our program to ensure they maintain safe utility service during the coldest months.”
Those seeking help should first contact their utility company for an eligibility screening and a referral to one of the Dollar Energy Fund’s Community-Based Organization partners to complete an application for the program. This approach connects households with additional services provided by a local nonprofit agency that may also be available to limited-income households, such as food, childcare and career assistance. A contact-less application option may be available upon request.
Eligibility is largely based on an applicant’s total household income and the amount varies by utility. In addition to meeting income guidelines, households may have needed to make a sincere effort of payment on their utility bill in the last three months and have a balance on their account. Households must first apply for available federal and state assistance if they are income eligible. Specific requirements, account balances and sincere payment amounts may differ by utility company and guidelines are subject to change. Some utility companies require a customer’s service to be off or in threat of termination to receive assistance.
Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergy.org/need-help.
Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis through September 30, 2022, or until funds are depleted.
Last year, the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit helped more than 129,000 limited-income households meet their basic utility needs through distributing $50 million in hardship grants and providing over 390,000 individuals—including children, adults, and senior citizens—with the assistance needed to set them on the path to self-sufficiency. The organization currently operates Pennsylvania’s largest hardship fund and is a national leader in utility assistance. Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship grants have helped more than 758,500 families across its 14-state service territory maintain or restore safe utility services.
Dollar Energy Fund is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar for dollar by partnering utility companies. Customers of participating utility companies 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 is tax deductible.
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, including how to apply for a grant or make a donation to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.