October 2nd, 2023
Dollar Energy Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides utility assistance to limited-income households, is pleased to announce the opening of its 2023-2024 program year and the availability of funds for customers in need throughout its 18-state service territory. The program, which is now accepting applications for its 40th program year, provides grants to households facing an immediate utility crisis. Funding is applied directly to an eligible utility customer’s account to prevent a termination or to restore their gas, water, electric and wastewater utility service.
As we mark four decades of service dedicated towards helping our neighbors in need maintain or restore basic utility services, Dollar Energy Fund remains committed to making our services more accessible and user-friendly. Central to this effort is the launch of a newly-redesigned website, which features improvements designed to streamline the user experience and make eligibility information more accessible.
“Reaching this milestone of service is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the generous support of our utility partners, donors, and community-based agencies,” said Chad Quinn, CEO of Dollar Energy Fund. “As we look ahead, we are committed to making it easier than ever for those seeking assistance to access our services. Our new website reflects our ongoing commitment to communication, efficiency, and, most importantly, to the individuals and families we serve.”
As part of the site redesign, Dollar Energy Fund is excited to unveil a new “Hardship Program Eligibility Tool.” This tool allows users to quickly determine whether they may be eligible for our hardship programs, then simplifies the process of obtaining detailed, program-specific guidelines and application information. The site also integrates a link to “MyStatus”, which allows applicants to check the status of their applications in real-time. This tool brings transparency to the application process, ensuring that those seeking assistance are informed and connected every step of the way.
Most applicants will first contact their utility for eligibility confirmation 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. Additionally, customers of select utility companies may be able to use Dollar Energy Fund’s MyApp portal to complete some or all of their application online.
Dollar Energy Fund partners with utility companies across the United State by administering a variety of utility assistance programs to support limited-income utility customers who struggle to make ends meet. The organization currently serves customers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington.
A customer’s income level is the primary eligibility criteria, and that threshold varies by utility company. In addition, 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 and those programs are accepting applications. 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.
Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis through September 30, 2024, or until funds are depleted. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergy.org/need-help.
“In our last program year, Dollar Energy Fund extended a helping hand to more than 41,000 households, distributing $13.4 million in critical utility assistance,” added Quinn. “These numbers are not just statistics; they represent the substantial impact this organization has on the lives of those who are struggling to make ends meet, ensuring them utility service and stability in their homes.”
The organization is a national leader in utility assistance. Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship grants have helped more than 835,500 families across its 18-state service territory maintain or restore safe utility services.
Dollar Energy Fund is funded by public contributions and most utility partner companies make a dollar-for-dollar matching donation to double the impact of the contributions. Direct donations can be made online at www.dollarenergy.org/donate or by sending a check to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Utility customers are able to contribute a dollar or more to Dollar Energy Fund through their monthly utility bill. Every donation to Dollar Energy Fund is tax deductible and all funds collected are used to provide direct assistance to individuals, families and senior citizens facing a utility crisis.
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 utility assistance grant, 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 $253 million in utility assistance grants to more than 835,500 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, Nebraska, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington. 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.
Your contribution directly supports an individual or family facing a utility crisis.
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