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Hardship Program

Dollar Energy Fund’s Pennsylvania Hardship Program provides one-time assistance grants that are applied directly to a limited-income household’s utility bill. Funding is available on a first come, first serve basis and eligibility requirements vary based on the utility company. Program guidelines and eligibility requirements are subject to change.

 

2018 – 2019 Pennsylvania Hardship Program

Program Dates

If applicants are eligible and programs are open, applicants must apply for LIHEAP and CRISIS before applying for the Dollar Energy Fund Hardship Program.

For customers of Peoples Gas Company and Peoples Natural Gas:

Open from October 1, 2018 through November 30, 2018, for services that are off or in threat of termination

Open from December 3, 2018, through March 29, 2019, for services that are off only.

Starting April 1, 2019, the program is open to all eligible applicants regardless of service status.

For customers of other utilities:

Open from October 1, 2018, through November 30, 2018, for services that are off or in threat of termination only.

Open from December 3, 2018, through January 31, 2019, for services that are off only.

Available from February 1, 2019, through February 28, 2019, for services that are off or in threat of termination.

Starting March 1, 2019, the program is open to all eligible applicants regardless of service status.

Sincere Effort of Payment

Applicants must have paid at least $150 on their gas and electric accounts in the past three months. Senior Citizens, age 62 and over, must have paid $100 on their accounts.

Applicants must have paid at least $100 on their water account in the past three months. Senior Citizens must have paid at least $50.

Exceptions may be made in cases of extreme hardships.

Balance Requirement

Applicant must have an outstanding balance on their utility bill of at least $100.

Senior Citizens, age 62 and over, may have a $0 balance as long as there is no existing credit on the account.

Maximum Grant

The maximum grant amount an applicant may receive is $500.

Applicants can only receive one grant per utility, per program year. (10/1/2018 – 9/30/2019)

Grant awards are based on need and each family’s circumstances are different. Grant amounts are determined on a case-to-case basis.

If a customer’s utility service is off or in threat of termination when they apply and the maximum grant amount will not restore service or stop termination, the application will be denied. The amount needed to restore service or stop a termination is determined by utility review. Notification will be sent to the customer advising them that their application was denied and that an additional payment is required in order to be considered for assistance.

Additional Guidelines

Account must be residential, single home or apartment. No “cooking only”, commercial, industrial, or apartments with shared utility service.

Name on account must be that of an adult who is currently living in the home.

Dollar Energy Fund grants cannot be used to cover security deposits or reconnection fees.

Application Attachments

Verification of income or proof of LIHEAP or Crisis application, when those programs are open, must be attached to all applications.

A copy of the most recent utility bill with proof of minimum payment must be attached to all applications.

Income Guidelines

With the exception of FirstEnergy customers, total gross household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

Total gross household income for FirstEnergy customers must be at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

Use our Income Calculator to find out if your gross (before tax) income is within the range of eligibility for our programs.

How to Apply

The best way to start seeking help is by calling your utility company. They will provide you with information on a number of different assistance programs that are available to help low-income utility customers.

  • Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania: 1-800-537-7431
  • Peoples Natural Gas: 1-800-400-9276
  • Peoples Gas Company, LLC: 1-800-222-5101
  • Valley Energy: 1-570-265-6415
  • Citizens Electric: 1-570-524-2231
  • Duquesne Light Company: 1-888-393-7600
  • Met-Ed & Penelec: 1-800-545-7741
  • Penn Power: 1-800-720-3600
  • West Penn Power: 1-800-686-0021
  • Wellsboro Electric Company: 570-724-3516

Dollar Energy also partners with a network of Community Based Organizations throughout the state. These dedicated agencies provide application intake services for clients. Find an agency in your area with Dollar Energy Fund’s Agency Finder.

Get the Fact Sheet

539,000 Grants Provided Throughout Our Organization’s History