Founded in 1983 in Western Pennsylvania by a coalition of concerned community and business leaders, the organization expanded beyond Pennsylvania in 2008 with the addition of a Hardship Program in West Virginia. Since then, we’ve extended our reach into Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee and Maryland in 2009; Texas and Louisiana in 2011; Arkansas in 2013; California and Kentucky in 2014; Connecticut in 2016; Indiana in 2019; Nebraska in 2020; and most recently, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington in 2023. We currently administer Hardship Programs for 50 utility companies. Dollar Energy Fund partners with over 450 community-based organizations throughout our service territory.
These organizations handle application intake for our programs while also connecting those in need with other forms of assistance. The demand for assistance from our program has grown significantly due to increased costs of everyday living expenses and severe weather conditions. To meet the need, we rely on the generosity of individual donors. Our unique funding model provides a dollar-for-dollar match from our partnering utility companies for almost every donation we receive. The utility companies also make a separate donation to cover our administrative fees, so 100 percent of all individual donations are used to provide utility assistance grants to limited-income households.