Posted on: October 3, 2022
Dollar Energy Fund’s 2022-2023 Hardship Program opens today and is now accepting applications from limited-income customers who need assistance with their gas, electric, water and wastewater 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.
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 vary 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, 2023, or until funds are depleted.
Last year, the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit helped 36,197 limited-income households across the country meet their basic utility needs through distributing hardship grants. 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 794,500 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. 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 all funds collected from Pennsylvania donors are used to assist limited-income families residing in the Commonwealth.
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.
Posted on: October 3, 2022
Dollar Energy Fund kicked off a new program year on October 3, 2022. Let us take a moment to remember 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 essential work for more than 39 years. Here are some highlights from the 2021-2022 program year (October 2021 – September 2022):
- Dollar Energy Fund earned its fifth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for our commitment to financial accountability and transparency.
- Dollar Energy Fund celebrated our 30-year partnership anniversary with Pennsylvania American Water and the H2O Help to Others Program.
- Dollar Energy Fund hosted its annual Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon in partnership with iHeartMedia and 3WS Pittsburgh. The event raised $150,492 to provide utility assistance to approximately 425 Pittsburgh households who were struggling to stay warm.
- Dollar Energy Fund was a sponsor and benefiting charity of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Butler, PA and Johnson City, TN. Coupons were distributed to customers to receive $2 off admission and Dollar Energy Fund received a $1 donation for every coupon redeemed. In total, the Shadrack’s campaign raised $28,000 to help families across Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
- Dollar Energy Fund participated in #GiveBigPittsburgh and #ShareOmaha on Giving Tuesday.
- Dollar Energy Fund signed contracts with National Fuel Gas Company and Omaha Public Power District for their LIRA and CAP programs.
- The EQT Foundation connected with Dollar Energy Fund again this year to make a $10,000 donation to benefit Pennsylvanians in need.
- The Jack Buncher Foundation supported Dollar Energy Fund with a $60,000 donation to help Pennsylvanians in need.
- The Citizen’s Bank Foundation awarded Dollar Energy Fund with a $53,000 donation towards the Hardship Program and Cool Down for Warmth campaign.
- In January, Dollar Energy Fund raised more than $140,000 during its 8th annual Cool Down for Warmth event on Pittsburgh Today Live (KDKA-TV). The amount raised gave assistance to approximately 390 Pittsburgh families who were struggling to afford safe utility service.
- In February, Dollar Energy Fund’s 14th annual Warmathon on KDKA Radio raised $203,328, which provided utility assistance grants to 564 additional Pittsburgh-area households.
- The Robert Morris University Department of Athletics partnered with Dollar Energy Fund this season to assist families in the Pittsburgh region struggling to afford heat. The “Points for Power” program donated $1 for every point scored by the RMU men’s and women’s basketball teams. The total amount raised was $7,482.
- This year’s virtual Heat the Streets Run & Walk for Warmth in Nebraska raised $151,352 to provide utility assistance to Omaha Public Power and Metropolitan Utilities District customers in need.
- Dollar Energy Fund celebrated National Pet Day with a slideshow of our employees’ favorite pets.
- On April 19, 2022, Dollar Energy Fund marked its 39th anniversary of helping our neighbors in need with utility assistance. What began as a small community effort, has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds for limited-income families across the country.
- Dollar Energy Fund partnered with the Pittsburgh Penguins to host two fundraising campaigns in April – the Fan Appreciation Night Raffle and Jerseys for Warmth Charitable Auction. With your help and a generous match from our utility partners, these campaigns raised a total of $85,552 to benefit 238 local households in need of utility service.
- During the first week of May, Dollar Energy Fund’s management team attended CS Week in Phoenix, to connect with more utility partners outside our service territory and expand our mission of helping customers in need.
- Dollar Energy Fund participated in SHARE Omaha’s #DoGoodDays to provide critical relief to Nebraska families in need through Omaha Public Power District’s Energy Assistance Program and Metropolitan Utilities District’s Home Fund.
- Dollar Energy Fund joined a panel of fuel fund reps for a session on “Adaptations During the Pandemic” at the National Energy and Utility Assistance Coalition Annual Conference in New Orleans.
- In August, Dollar Energy Fund participated in the Pittsburgh Foundation’s #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert. With a match from our utility partners, the campaign raised nearly $3,000 for local customers in need.
- Dynegy donated $20,000 in bill payment assistance to Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program in Beaver and Westmoreland counties. This contribution is the largest Dollar Energy Fund has ever received from a supplier and will have a significant impact for families in our region.
- Dollar Energy Fund continues its partnership with Pitt Athletics by sponsoring the Pat Narduzzi Show on KDKA Radio.
- In September, we welcomed 30 foursomes at Quicksilver Golf Club for our 14th annual Golf Classic. This event is a fan favorite, featuring 18-holes of golf, our famous Bloody Mary Bar, a delicious lunch and more. The online silent auction raised over $2,700 in donations.
- Dollar Energy Fund was named a Top Workplace in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the second year in a row!
Most importantly, Dollar Energy Fund distributed 36,197 grants across the country during the 2021-2022 program year. Since 1983, we have assisted more than 794,000 households by distributing $240 million in utility assistance nationwide.
With your help, we can continue to provide immediate and direct assistance during our 2022-2023 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. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation before the end of the calendar year. If you would like to get involved during this program year, follow us on social media to stay up to date on our winter fundraising campaigns. On behalf of the many individuals, seniors, and families we help, thank you for your continued support!