Posted on: December 7, 2018
The holidays are upon us and they usually bring sky-high energy bills. You might be looking to save a few extra bucks without skimping on the holiday cheer. Keep these tips in mind while decorating for the holidays:
Switch to energy-efficient LED lights
Incandescent holiday light strings might make you feel nostalgic, but that feeling will quickly disappear when you see your electric bill. Save money by using LED light strands. They are brighter, safer and use more than 70% less energy than traditional bulbs.
Limited hourly usage
Use timers for your indoor and outdoor decorations to automatically turn on when it gets dark and turn off in the middle of the night. Limit displays to 8 hours or less to save a bundle!
Not all decorations need to be plugged in. Reflective ornaments and tinsel make the perfect complement to traditional string lights and create the shimmer and shine you were going for. Ribbons, wreaths and garlands are also great alternatives for indoor and outdoor decor.
Don’t be Clark Griswold
Relax! Don’t recreate the Griswold home from the 1989’s classic “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Be safe, have fun, but remember – the more you plug in, the more you pay.
Posted on: December 5, 2018
Dollar Energy Fund’s Topgolf Fundraiser raised $12,210, including a dollar-for-dollar match from Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, to benefit customers in need. The amount raised will provide gas assistance to approximately 35 households who are struggling to stay warm this winter.
We welcomed 80 golfers to Topgolf Pittsburgh in Bridgeville, PA on Thursday, November 29, 2018. The day started at 1 p.m. with registration. Golfers quickly set out to their bays to begin play. The staff at Topgolf worked diligently to provide golfers with drinks and instructions on how to play a variety of Topgolf games. Guests also enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet, networked with friends and won door prizes.
This event was made possible through a partnership with Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. We are very grateful for their ongoing support in helping the community. Dollar Energy Fund also wants to thank everyone who helped with this fundraiser, especially our golfers who turned out to support their neighbors in need. Thank you to all of our event sponsors, including Bob Scullion & Associates, Pittsburgh Technical College, Enscoe Long Insurance Group, Mass Mutual Pittsburgh, Baron Heating & Air Conditioning, Kelly Services, Fort Pitt Capital Group, Burns White, AEC Group, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Aflac. Their involvement was an integral part of making our event a success, and it goes a long way towards helping the families we serve. Our efforts would not be possible without their support and generosity. We are also grateful to everyone at Topgolf Pittsburgh for their excellent service and accommodations.
At Dollar Energy Fund, we always encourage our supporters to have fun while raising money for families and individuals who are on their path to self-sufficiency. Stay tuned for future events by following us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our monthly newsletter.
Posted on: December 3, 2018
Starting December 3, the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program will be accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2018-2019 winter heating season. Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, and Dollar Energy Fund, eligible AEP Ohio customers who need help during the winter months can apply for financial assistance to maintain or restore their electric service.
This Fund is one of the largest of its kind in the country and may provide assistance once per program year (10/1/2018 – 9/30/2019) to families facing an immediate utility crisis. With help from the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, families in need can receive a grant, which is applied directly to their AEP Ohio account, to prevent disconnection from occurring or to restore their electric service. The program will accept applications from households seeking heating assistance on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30, 2019, while funds are available.
AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009 and have helped more than 54,000 Ohio households with more than $13 million in utility assistance grants.
“The early period of winter weather we’ve experienced recently is a reminder of how Ohio winters can be brutally cold, very unpredictable, and extremely challenging for many people, especially the elderly and those with health problems,” said Katie Grayem, director of Customer Experience for AEP Ohio. “For many Ohio families, heating their homes during this time can also pose a difficult financial burden. Being a good community partner and neighbor is who we are and what we do, and we are committed to giving our neighbors, who may struggle to make ends meet, a helping hand to ensure their electric service stays connected.”
To qualify, an applicant’s total gross household income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, a family of four earning up to $50,200 per year is income eligible for the program.
Households must have made a sincere effort of payment of $75 on their electric bill in the last 90 days and have a minimum balance of $50 due on their AEP Ohio bill. Customers may apply for assistance through the Neighbor to Neighbor Program network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. Full eligibility guidelines, a list of organizations accepting applications, and information on how to make a donation to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor program are available at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.
“Neighbor to Neighbor has become a program that serves the families who find themselves in a temporary financial situation due to an unexpected expense or loss of income,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund. “The Neighbor to Neighbor Program is available to lend a helping hand to Ohioans who may be struggling to keep food on the table or cover all other household costs.”
The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in Ohio is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio. Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations also can be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor or by sending a check directly to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program is used to assist eligible families residing in Ohio. Every dollar donated to the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor program will be matched by AEP Ohio. All matching funds and 100 percent of the donations assist limited-income families residing in Ohio to afford utility service.
For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Neighbor to Neighbor Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.
In addition to AEP Ohio, Appalachian Power in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee started accepting applications on December 3. Full program guidelines can be found by visiting www.dollarenergy.org/need-help.
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio delivers electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of AEP’s subsidiary, Ohio Power Co., in Ohio. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.
American Electric Power based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP Onsite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.
About Dollar Energy Fund, Inc.
Dollar Energy Fund was founded in 1983 and has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization operating in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, Arkansas , West Virginia, Kentucky, California and Connecticut. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $150 million in utility assistance grants to over 545,000 limited-income families and individuals.
All donations to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, administered by Dollar Energy Fund, will assist limited-income families residing in Ohio. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund’s website, www.dollarenergyfund.org.
Posted on: November 27, 2018
Dollar Energy Fund will be participating in #GiveBigPittsburgh, which will be held on Giving Tuesday, November 27, from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. #GiveBigPittsburgh is an online giving day hosted by the Pittsburgh Magazine created to support the nonprofits doing great work in our community. Please visit our profile page to make your contribution.
Every donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by our partnering utility companies. By giving to Dollar Energy Fund during #GiveBigPittsburgh, you are maximizing your donation dollars and helping more local families.
100% of all donations and matching funds will be used to support your neighbors in need. Through our unique arrangement with our utility partners, we are able to direct all charitable contributions towards providing assistance grants through our Hardship Program. No organizational operating expenses are paid through donated funds, EVER.
All donations will be used to help families in your community. We believe in neighbors helping neighbors. Your donation will be designated for distribution in your area, allowing you to be a neighborhood hero for those struggling to afford basic utility services.
Pittsburgh Magazine is offering extra prizes for participating organizations throughout the day. Dollar Energy Fund is hoping to secure some of these funds, but we need your help! Be sure to follow along on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on our goals! Any donation made, no matter how large or small, can result in additional funding for Dollar Energy Fund and the limited-income families in need this winter.
We hope we can count on your support to make #GiveBigPittsburgh 2018 a success for Dollar Energy Fund and our neighbors!
Posted on: November 15, 2018
In celebration of its 35-year partnership with the Dollar Energy Fund, Duquesne Light Company (DLC) is bringing its Larger Than Light mission to life this giving season by encouraging customers to donate to neighbors in need, through the Dollar Energy Fund organization. To encourage donations from Friday, November 16 through Tuesday, November 27 (#GivingTuesday), DLC will be leveraging its social media platforms to highlight testimonials of DLC customers and local Pittsburghers who have received help from the organization, along with statistics that display the impact it has had on our region since its inception.
Every donation made over the ‘12 days of giving’ period will be matched by DLC. The #PowerItForward program, which DLC has conducted for the past two years, is designed to inspire holiday kindness and reciprocal goodwill among those in the community.
“For 35 years, the Dollar Energy Fund has been a pillar of support for local neighbors in need of utility assistance,” said Rich Riazzi, President and CEO of DLC. “As a founding partner of this organization, we are proud to launch DLC’s 2018 #PowerItForward program to help support their mission and encourage our fellow community members to do the same.”
Those interested in donating through the #PowerItForward program can visit: www.dollarenergy.org/donate and select Duquesne Light Power It Forward in the “Put My Donations Towards” drop-down box or text POWER to 50555 to donate $5. Message and data rates may apply. Full terms can be found here: www.mGive.org/T.
“Dollar Energy Fund would not be celebrating this milestone if it weren’t for the outpouring of support from utility companies, like DLC, who partnered with us from the very start,” said Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer Chad Quinn. “Duquesne Light’s dedication to the Pittsburgh region is evident through initiatives, like Power It Forward, which aim to spread awareness of our organization and ultimately improve the quality of life for those in our community.”
The Dollar Energy Fund was formed to improve the quality of life for limited-income individuals by providing monetary assisting for utility bills. Since its founding in 1983, the organization has assisted 539,000 households by distributing more than $148 million in utility assistance and has grown to serve communities far beyond Pittsburgh.
To kick-off the fundraiser, and the holiday season, DLC is powering up its 80-foot Tree of Lights at Point State Park.
Thursday, November 15 at 5:30 pm
Ceremonial Lighting of Tree at Point State Park
At 5:30 p.m. DLC is hosting its annual ceremonial lighting of the Duquesne Light Tree of Lights with a local family from the North Side, selected by the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, to commemorate the total donation made to the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania (USWPA) by DLC and its approximately 1,500 employees.
To help DLC #PowerItForward this holiday season, visit www.dollarenergy.org/donate and keep up with Duquesne Light’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
About Duquesne Light Company
Duquesne Light Company is committed to more than keeping the lights on; it powers the moments in its customers’ lives. As a next generation energy company, Duquesne Light Company’s nearly 1,500 employees are dedicated to delivering reliable and safe energy to more than a half a million customers in southwestern Pennsylvania.
About United Way of Southwestern PA
United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, serving Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong counties, leads and mobilizes the caring power of individuals, the business community and organizations to help local people in need measurably improve their lives. United Way creates long-lasting change for the betterment of our community.
About Dollar Energy Fund
Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services that lead to self-sufficiency. For more than 35 years, we’ve served the limited-income community by providing $148 million in utility assistance grants to more than 539,000 limited-income families and individuals.
Posted on: November 14, 2018
Through the combined effort of 3WS Pittsburgh and our supporters, the Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon raised $93,872 to benefit Dollar Energy Fund and our neighbors in need. The amount raised will provide utility assistance to more than 260 Pittsburgh households who are struggling to stay warm during this cold winter.
Our second Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon took place on November 13 and 14, 2018. 94.5 3WS and Dollar Energy Fund teamed up to bring the community a fun way to help families in our region stay warm. Over the course of the two-day event, 3WS listeners took over the station with their song requests. In exchange for a donation, listeners could request any song and many were invited to talk live with the on-air talent Jonny Hartwell, Bonny Diver, Sheri Van Dyke, and Mike Frazer. A variety of donation incentives were also available during the event, such as autographed sports items, gift certificates and event tickets.
The success of our Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon event would not have been possible without our generous sponsors, including 84 Lumber, South Hills Auto, Citizen’s Bank, Metropolitan Window Company, CW Electrical Services, Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service, Oakmont Bakery, Armina Stone, and Primanti Brothers. All donations were generously matched dollar-for-dollar by our utility partners: Peoples Natural Gas, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, and West Penn Power, a FirstEnergy Company. In addition, many of our Neighborhood Hero donation incentives were provided by Total Sports Enterprises. All of these businesses share Dollar Energy Fund’s mission for assisting the limited-income community and we thank them so much for their unwavering support.
Dollar Energy Fund also wants to extend a big THANK YOU to the staff at 3WS and iHeart Pittsburgh. Their hard work brought this event to life as they rallied their listeners to help.
If you’re interested in joining our efforts to keep Pittsburgh families warm, consider participating in our upcoming Cool Down for Warmth event on January 24 & 25, 2019.
Posted on: November 13, 2018
Our second Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon will take place on November 13 and 14, 2018. We’re gathering incentives to encourage people to request a song and donate to local, limited-income families who need help restoring or maintaining safe utility service this winter. We’ll reveal many more surprise incentives during the event. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook before the Request-A-Thon begins so that you can stay up to date with rapid-fire incentives, guests and promotions throughout the two days.
Ways to Donate
- Call 1-800-823-WARM at any time during the hours of the event (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 13 & 14) and a volunteer will assist you with your donation and submitting a song request.
- Text WARM to 50555 to donate $10 through your wireless bill and submit your request through text message. Message & Data Rates May Apply.
- Visit www.dollarenergy.org/requestathon to submit a donation and request via our secure, online donation portal.
Become a Neighborhood Hero!
A donation of $180, made in installments of $15/month or with a one-time donation, will make you a Neighborhood Hero! A $180 donation becomes $360 in assistance once matched by our utility partners. This amount is equal to Dollar Energy Fund’s average winter heating season grant amount and is enough to keep the utility service on for a household in need during the winter. Your support at this level makes you eligible for donation incentives and your song request will jump to the top of our list.
Become a neighborhood hero and you’ll have the chance to win the following incentives:
- Pittsburgh Penguins Package including tickets, Malkin autographed jersey, dinner for two at Mallorca and more! (Provided by Total Sports Enterprises)
- Stocking Stuffer Package including an overnight stay at Seven Springs Resort, tickets to Michael Buble concert, Kennywood and Sandcastle passes, tickets to Blake Shelton concert and more!
- Join Jonny Hartwell, Sheri Van Dyke and Mike Frazer from 3WS for a group dinner at Mallorca.
- Pittsburgh Steelers Package including tickets, James Conner autographed jersey, Ryan Shazier autographed mini helmet and more! (Provided by Total Sports Enterprises)
The concept is simple: make a donation of $10 or more during the event, make a request and listen to 94.5 3WS. Every effort will be made to play your song, but higher donation amounts will increase your chance of hearing your song in its entirety and enter you to win the incentives above. All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by our utility partners, which makes your gift go twice as far in helping those in our region who are in need of utility assistance this winter. Listen to 94.5 3WS during the event for details.
Posted on: November 6, 2018
On Thursday, November 1st, Hearth and Home Furnishings in Zelienople hosted the 10th Annual Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart Campaign Kick-Off Reception. Guests mingled in the showroom, enjoyed delicious food and refreshments provided by Springfield Grille, and showed their support for the limited-income families in Butler who struggle to afford basic heating service.
In order to provide utility assistance grants to households in need, Dollar Energy Fund depends on the generosity of donors to support our program. We are also very fortunate that our utility partners, including Peoples Natural Gas, provide a dollar-for-dollar match for ever donation we receive. Dollar Energy Fund received a $20 donation for every ticket sold for this event. This amount will be generously matched by Peoples, doubling the impact and providing $40 in utility assistance per guest. That $40 is about the amount needed to help a household maintain heat in their home for one week!
More than 60 items were displayed in the ticket and silent auctions, many of which were donated from local companies and supporters including Barb Kushner, Betty’s Dairy Queen, BiLo Grocery Store, Burgers in Harmony, Butler Eagle, Carol’s Pastry Shop, Chad Slencak, Clifford’s Restaurant, Diane and Dave Anthony of Honey Do This N That, DiBella’s Subs in Cranberry, Dollar Bank, Hartmann’s Watering Hole, Herb Brittner, Holistic Houndry, Jerry’s Car Wash, Jordan Grady of the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, Olde Stonewall Golf Club, Pennie’s Bakery, Peoples Natural Gas, Prima Capelli Salon, Seven Oaks Country Club, Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, Springfield Grille, Spring Street Café, Subway of Butler, The Color Center, The Enchanted Olive and The Strand Theater. Many of these companies have donated year after year, and we appreciate their continued support.
The event’s silent auction and ticket raffle alone raised more than $7,500, including a generous match by Peoples. Hearth & Home also donated proceeds from their EggFest to Dollar Energy Fund earlier this year – which raised $1,340, also including a match from Peoples.
The kick-off reception is part of a much larger fundraising campaign, and we are off to a great start. This is the tenth year of the Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart Campaign, and so far the fundraising total is over $160,000, and counting. Beginning at this event through the end of the year, Hearth and Home Furnishings will donate a portion of their gas fireplace sales to Dollar Energy Fund. Peoples will continue to match all donations and proceeds throughout this campaign.
Dollar Energy Fund would like to send a special thank you to Nancy Reader, Megan Murphy, and everyone at Hearth and Home Furnishings who brought this event to life. Our gracious hosts are also celebrating their 35th year of business in the Zelienople community and we congratulate them on all of their success! They share our passion for helping families in need and this campaign is a testament to their character and their commitment to helping the community. Thank you to DJ Tom Menchak, who volunteered his time and equipment to provide entertainment during the evening. Also, thanks to Comcast Spotlight for their part in promoting the event and donating a Microsoft Surface for the silent auction.
Most importantly, thank you to everyone who attended the event! We look forward to making a difference to even more families in the local community.
Check out other events benefiting Dollar Energy Fund by visiting our website or sign up for our monthly email newsletter.
Posted on: October 31, 2018
Every year, Shadrack’s spreads Christmas cheer in Butler County by hosting a spectacular drive-through light attraction at Big Butler Fairgrounds. For the second year, Dollar Energy Fund is proud to be the presenting sponsor and benefiting charity of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland.
The attraction will be open every evening from November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019. The light show features three miles of custom made displays synced to holiday music. See the all new SANTA’S SAFARI theme of displays where Santa and pals are on vacation featuring custom built, giant, all-LED displays! Visit the new and improved Santa’s Village (free with light show admission) and enjoy souvenirs, rides and refreshments!
Tickets are $25 per car and available for purchase on-site. Shadrack’s accepts cash and credit cards. New this year, Dollar Energy Fund is partnering with Chick-fil-A to distribute coupons at participating locations in the area. Coupons are good for $2 off admission Sunday through Thursday. Visit a participating Chick-fil-A location or download the digital coupon below.
For every coupon redeemed, $1.00 will go to Dollar Energy Fund. Bring your family, join the fun and support our mission of helping limited-income families stay warm this winter. For more information on Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, visit shadrackchristmas.com/pittsburgh-pa.
Throughout the season, Dollar Energy Fund will be giving away free car passes on our Facebook page. Like our page for your chance to participate!
Posted on: October 31, 2018
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program available to help eligible customers in Pennsylvania with their heating bills. The program will be open from November 1, 2018 to April 12, 2019. LIHEAP can offer much needed relief for thousands of people across the state who rely on the service.
On October 26, 2018, the Office of Community Services at the Department of Health and Human Services released LIHEAP funds for FY19. The $3.65 billion appropriated for LIHEAP constitutes a 9% increase in funding over the previous year. Unlike in previous years, the Act signed into law has appropriated LIHEAP funds for the entire FY19. LIHEAP has received improved funding of $300 million since FY17, thanks to the good work of program advocates. The total amount allocated to Pennsylvania is more than $206 million.
Customers can apply for components of LIHEAP online through the DHS COMPASS website, at county assistance offices, via mail with a paper application, and through their utility company. In the winter, funds can be used to pay for any home heating source including natural gas, electric, home heating oil, propane, kerosene, wood and coal. In rare instances, funds can also be used to pay water bills where customers have specific types of boilers, certain types of steam heat, or other uncommon water heating systems.
As part of our guidelines, Dollar Energy Fund requires customers seeking grants to apply for LIHEAP funds first if they are eligible, while the program is open. LIHEAP program funding and eligibility varies by state.
For more information, check out this informational brochure or visit the PA DHS website.
Not located in PA? To find out whether you are eligible to receive LIHEAP benefits in your state, contact your state or tribal LIHEAP office. Click here for contact information.