Utility Assistance Now Available for Families in Need

October 1st, 2014

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Dollar Energy Fund’s Grant Program Opens October 1 for Limited-Income Households

Dollar Energy Fund opened its program year October 1, and is accepting applications from households in need of help with their gas, water and electric bills.  Assistance is now available for customers of select utilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and California.  Eligible customers of AEP in Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia will be able to apply for a grant beginning December 1, 2014.

Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship programs provide one-time assistance to eligible, limited-income households facing an immediate utility crisis.  With help from the program, families in need can receive up to $500 in grant funding that’s applied directly to their utility account to prevent a termination or restore their service.

“As we enter into heating season, Dollar Energy Fund is ready to provide relief to families who are at risk of losing basic gas, water or electric,” says Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer. “Many of those who receive a grant from our program come from working families, yet a sudden financial emergency, such as a job loss, illness or other situation out of their control, puts them in a position where they are forced to choose between paying their utility bills and providing other necessities, such food or medical care, for themselves and their families.  Because of their income, they may not qualify for other assistance programs, so they turn to Dollar Energy Fund to ease the burden and keep a temporary situation from spiraling into a long-term issue.”

Those seeking help should contact their utility company for eligibility screening and to be referred to a community based agency for assistance with Dollar Energy Fund’s application process. This approach puts at-risk households in touch with additional services—such as food, childcare and career assistance—that may be available to limited-income households.

Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship grants have helped more than 400,000 families maintain or restore safe utility services. Last year, the organization provided assistance to more than 39,000 limited-income families by distributing $10.7 million in hardship grants, guiding more than 115,000 individuals—including children, adults, and senior citizens—on the path towards reaching self-sufficiency.

The organization’s network of over 450 Community Based Organizations are now taking Hardship Program applications.  Applications will continue to be accepted through September 30, 2015, or until funds are depleted.  Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at

Dollar Energy Fund is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar for dollar by partnering utility companies.  Utility customers are able to contribute a dollar or more to Dollar Energy Fund through their monthly utility bill. Direct donations can also be made online at 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  are used to assist limited-income families in need.

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for a grant from our assistance programs or donate to the organization, visit

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