Menu

News/Events

Year in Review: 2020-2021

Posted on: September 22, 2021

Dollar Energy Fund kicks off a new program year on October 1, 2021. Let’s take a moment to remember the accomplishments we shared together this past year. Our success would not be possible without the constant support from all of our partners, agencies, donors, staff, board members, community leaders, businesses and more. By sharing Dollar Energy Fund’s dedication and passion for helping your neighbors in need, you have allowed us to continue our essential work for more than 38 years. Here are some highlights from the 2020-2021 program year (October 2020 – September 2021):

 

October

  • Dollar Energy Fund assisted in administering $25 million in CARES Act Relief Funds to assist qualifying West Virginians who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were struggling to pay their utility bills.
  • Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Dollar Energy Fund teamed up for an online fundraiser to help customers in need. Individuals purchased Digger Dog™ kids craft boxes to provide a fun activity for kids while helping neighbors experiencing financial hardship pay their utility bills.

November

  • Dollar Energy Fund hosted its 4th annual Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon in partnership with iHeartMedia and 3WS Pittsburgh. The event raised $135,664 to provide utility assistance to approximately 1,131 Pittsburgh neighbors who were struggling to stay warm.
  • Dollar Energy Fund was a sponsor and benefiting charity of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Butler, PA and Johnson City, TN. Shadrack’s made a generous donation of $27,500 to Dollar Energy Fund. Coupons were distributed to customers to receive $2 off admission and Dollar Energy Fund received a $1 donation for every coupon redeemed.
  • Dollar Energy Fund participated in #GiveBigPittsburgh and #ShareOmaha on Giving Tuesday.

December

  • In partnership with Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, 96.9 BOB FM, Q92.9 FM, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Dollar Energy Fund hosted a Happy Holidays Hotline to raise funds for families in need with heating assistance. Supporters made a donation to Dollar Energy Fund and recorded a holiday message to be played on air.
  • Pennsylvania American Water hosted a Facebook live virtual session for customers to learn more about the H2O Help to Others program and other assistance options.

January

  • In January, Dollar Energy Fund raised more than $275,000 during its 7th annual Cool Down for Warmth event on Pittsburgh Today Live (KDKA-TV). The amount raised gave assistance to approximately 765 Pittsburgh families and individuals who were struggling to afford safe utility service.
  • Dollar Energy Fund launched the MyApp portal, to offer an easy way for eligible customers to complete portions of their applications online.
  • In January, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted to allocate $2 million in funding to aid Douglas County residents who continue to financially struggle due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dollar Energy Fund assisted with administering these funds to customers of Metropolitan Utilities District and Omaha Public Power District.

February

  • In February, Dollar Energy Fund’s 13th annual Warmathon on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA raised $175,510, which provided utility assistance grants to 487 Pittsburgh-area households.
  • First Commonwealth Bank provided more than $200,000 in utility assistance to households across Ohio and Pennsylvania.

March

  • This year’s virtual Heat the Streets Run & Walk for Warmth in Nebraska raised more than $103,000 to provide utility assistance to Omaha Public Power and Metropolitan Utilities District customers in need.
  • Peoples hosted a virtual Customer Assistance Panel on Facebook to inform customers about available assistance programs and how to apply.

April

  • On April 19, 2021, Dollar Energy Fund marked its 38th anniversary of helping our neighbors in need with utility assistance. What began as a small community effort, has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds for limited-income families across the country.
  • Dollar Energy Fund participated in SHARE Omaha’s #DoGoodWeek campaign to provide critical relief to Nebraska families in need through Omaha Public Power District’s Energy Assistance Program and Metropolitan Utilities District’s Home Fund.

May

  • Students at Fairview Elementary School participated in an annual Read-A-Thon to help their neighbors in need. 102 students read for a total of 31,469 minutes over two weeks and raised $9,018. The students donated $7,414 to Dollar Energy Fund to provide assistance to families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a match from Dollar Energy Fund’s utility partners, their efforts resulted in $15,000 in utility assistance.

June

  • Over two dozen Pittsburgh Penguins game-worn jerseys were auctioned off online during the Jerseys for Warmth Charitable Action. The campaign raised more than $64,000 to support Dollar Energy Fund and benefit an estimated 178 local families in need of utility assistance.
  • Several members of Dollar Energy Fund’s staff and management team attended the virtual National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) 2021 Annual Conference.
  • Dollar Energy Fund earned its fourth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

August

  • In August, Dollar Energy Fund participated in the Pittsburgh Foundation’s #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert. With a match from our utility partners, the campaign raised more than $6,100 for local customers in need.
  • LIHEAP celebrated its 40-year anniversary.
  • Dollar Energy Fund continued its partnership with Pitt Athletics by sponsoring the Pat Narduzzi Show on KDKA Radio.
  • Dollar Energy Fund helped administer new funds allocated to provide utility assistance grants to customers residing in Allegheny County who are struggling to afford their bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

September

  • In September, we welcomed 25 foursomes at Quicksilver Golf Club for our 13th annual Golf Classic. This event is a fan favorite, featuring 18-holes of golf, our famous Bloody Mary Bar, a delicious lunch and more. The online silent auction raised over $1,500 in donations.
  • Dollar Energy Fund was once again named a Top Workplace in Pittsburgh for 2021 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

With your help, we can continue to provide immediate and direct assistance during our 2021-2022 program year. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, can make an extraordinary impact by ensuring local, limited-income families maintain or restore safe utility service and get on a path to self-sufficiency. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation before the end of the calendar year. If you would like to get involved during this program year, follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on our winter fundraising campaigns. On behalf of the many individuals, seniors and families we help, thank you for your continued support!

Golf Classic Recap

Posted on: September 14, 2021

Dollar Energy Fund hosted its annual Golf Classic on Friday, September 10, 2021, sponsored by First National Bank. We welcomed 25 foursomes at Quicksilver Golf Club for a great day on the course.

The day started off with our renowned Bloody Mary Bar and a light breakfast. Golfers set out on the course at 8 a.m. with a scramble format. With friendly competitions along the way, such as hole-in-one challenges, longest drive contests and more, golfers were entertained throughout all 18 holes. The staff at Quicksilver worked diligently to provide golfers with cold drinks and snacks as they tackled the course. Hot dogs were also served at the turn.

After all teams finished the course, guests returned to the clubhouse for lunch sponsored by AEC Group, and networked with friends as they viewed over 20 silent auction items. Shortly after, Dollar Energy Fund’s CEO, Chad Quinn, and Director of Communications, Jody Robertson, presented awards and prizes. The 2021 Golf Classic prizes were sponsored by Pennsylvania American Water.

Two teams tied for first place all-around with a score of 59 – a foursome from Thomarios and a foursome from Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania.

The foursome from Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania beat out reigning champions, Peoples, to win the Utility Cup. The Utility Cup was established in 2014 as a way to create friendly competition between our utility partners. This year, nine foursomes representing four of Dollar Energy Fund’s utility partners participated in our golf outing and were eligible to win the Cup and bragging rights for the year. As a prize, Columbia’s hardship fund will receive an additional $1,000 contribution from Dollar Energy Fund’s general fundraising. In addition, the winners will have their name engraved on the cup and will be able to keep the trophy until they defend the title during next year’s outing.

Placing second was a foursome from My Benefit Advisor, and third-place honors were earned by a foursome from iHeart Media. We also want to congratulate our individual contest winners:

  • Bruce Austin – longest drive (men)
  • Emily Farah – longest drive (women)
  • Jake Gentile – closest to the pin
  • Brian Tupper – longest putt

We want to thank everyone who helped with the 2021 Dollar Energy Fund Golf Classic. From those who golfed, to those who donated a silent auction item – we couldn’t have done it without you. As always, 100 percent of the proceeds from this event will be matched by our partnering utility companies and will go directly to help families in need.

Dollar Energy Fund would also like to thank all of our Golf Classic sponsors. 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 Quicksilver Golf Club 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, and sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Click here to view more photos from our Golf Classic.

 

Celebrating 40 Years of LIHEAP

Posted on: August 5, 2021

LIHEAP

This month marks the 40 year anniversary of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). During the most extreme weather periods, energy is a life-critical resource. LIHEAP was created in 1981 in response to rising energy prices that left many vulnerable households without the necessary utilities to heat or cool their homes. The program provides much needed relief to thousands of families who rely on the service. Today, LIHEAP remains the largest energy assistance program available to low-income households in the United States.

LIHEAP and Dollar Energy Fund

Many families across the nation continue to struggle with energy affordability, in some cases putting their lives at risk, forcing people to make choices between things like medicine or food, or paying their utility bills. However, the number of families applying for LIHEAP far exceeds available program funding, and funding does not increase as the need grows. That’s where Dollar Energy Fund comes in. Our Hardship Program is a last resort for many struggling families. We work in conjunction with LIHEAP to make sure the most possible limited-income households receive the financial assistance they need to survive.

When the LIHEAP program is open, eligible customers must apply for federal funding prior to applying for a grant from Dollar Energy Fund. It’s our goal to help the most people while meeting the greatest need, so we extend the reach of our funds by directing eligible utility customers to apply for federal funding first whenever it is available.

Advocacy Begins with Understanding

The National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) and advocates from across the country have worked tirelessly to urge Congress to support and protect LIHEAP funding. Their efforts have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the program.

Unlike entitlement programs that receive increases with growth in the eligible population, LIHEAP does not automatically receive an increase and must be reviewed and approved by Congress annually. LIHEAP is a small Federal program, but it has a multiplier effect. When struggling families can afford energy, they are more likely to remain in their homes, households are stabilized, and seniors and veterans maintain access to service.

  • The Federal Reserve found that nearly 50% of American families would struggle to pay for an emergency expense of just $400.
  • More than 5.6 million low-income households received LIHEAP in 2020.
  • Only 16.79% of the total eligible population in the U.S. received LIHEAP in 2020.
  • 71.67% of LIHEAP recipients in the U.S. have at least one vulnerable member: elderly, disabled, and/or children under six.
  • More than 1/4 of those who lost jobs during the COVID-19 crisis reported skipping or needing to skip a utility bill payment.
  • 22% of utility customers reported that they had reduced or put off expenses for basic needs like medicine and food in order to pay their utility bills.

Please take the time to learn more about NEUAC by visiting neuac.org.

Click here to view state-by-state fact sheets on LIHEAP eligibility, funding and usage.

 

Talk to your utility company if you’re experiencing a hardship and they will assess what programs you might be eligible for, including a grant from LIHEAP or Dollar Energy Fund.

Unlike federally funded programs, Dollar Energy Fund relies on neighbors helping neighbors through individual donations. If you would like to help a local family in need with utility assistance, click here to make a donation to Dollar Energy Fund.

Agency Highlight: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Elkhorn

Posted on: July 30, 2021

Community-based agencies provide an opportunity for Dollar Energy Fund to expand our service territory and help our most vulnerable customers in need. In addition to helping customers apply for utility assistance programs, our partnering agencies often go above and beyond to connect individuals with resources that provide assistance for food, clothing, health services, childcare and more.

This month, Dollar Energy Fund is proud to highlight the efforts of Catherine Thompson at St. Vincent de Paul: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Elkhorn, Nebraska.

 


St. Patrick's Catholic Church of Elkhorn

How are you involved with Dollar Energy Fund application intake?

I am a volunteer in the St. Vincent de Paul Society with St. Patrick Catholic Church in Elkhorn, Nebraska. I have been doing Dollar Energy Fund applications since September 2020. As a Vincentian, the foundation of what we do is to go to people’s homes and assist with anything that they need.

 

How often do you go to people’s homes to assist with utility applications and other essentials?

Typically, I have not been going to people’s homes for Dollar Energy Fund requests. 99% of people are able to send their documents to me over their phone. It is quicker that way, and with my schedule, I can get their applications in quicker than trying to go to their homes to get pictures of the documents. However, I am used to going to people’s homes to meet with them, and help them get what they need as far as food, rent, help with bills, gas cards, etc.

 

What is a recent case that compelled you to go above and beyond for a customer in need?

Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.) contacted me to see if I could assist an elderly woman with a Dollar Energy Fund application for her utility bills. She had a shut-off notice from M.U.D. This customer does not have a computer and didn’t know how to take pictures with her phone to submit the required documents. Her husband recently had a stroke and is in a nursing home. She expressed that she is lost without him and is now realizing the bills are all overdue. I could hear a lot of stress and anxiety in her voice.

In SVdP, we always go with another volunteer if we need to enter a home, but I did not know of anyone who was available. I felt a sense of urgency because of her pending shut off and was more concerned about getting her application submitted.

On that Saturday, I asked her if I could just come to her house and stand on the outside door step and take pictures of her documents. She agreed, so I drove directly there. She could only find her driver’s license, a bank statement from January 2021, and the M.U.D. shut off notice. She found a bill from Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) from last fall so I was able to get the account number. We did not have access to her husband’s driver’s license or his social security number. I was concerned because the bills were in both of their names, and I did not want the utility companies to deny the applications. Nonetheless, I submitted the documents for her.

 

What was the outcome?

M.U.D. granted her the full $500 and OPPD granted what she needed for her bill to become current. I spoke to her that Monday and she was so grateful, and so was I.

 

Tell us about other customers that you have helped?

In May, myself and another SVdP volunteer went to another elderly gentleman’s home to get pictures of his documents. We also took gas and grocery gift cards to him. Another elderly woman in the area did not want us to come to her home, so she mailed me copies of her bills and other documents which worked out well. I will do what it takes to get these applications in for people in need.

 

As someone who works directly with these customers in need, how do you think Dollar Energy Fund has impacted their lives?

Dollar Energy Fund has been a God send for so many people in our area and I am totally committed to the process! The grants have helped a dad with five kids who is buried in medical bills due to his wife’s terminal cancer, to numerous single mothers who have trouble getting enough work to support their children, to people who have lost jobs and hours due to the pandemic. It has also given me a chance to talk to people about LIHEAP and other resources through SVdP to help with their rent and food assistance. I could go on and on. Dollar Energy Fund is a tremendous help for people who need it. I am proud to be a part of it!


 

Dollar Energy Fund partners with over 450 community-based organizations and more than 45 utility companies in 14 states. These individuals and organizations care deeply about the communities we serve and spend countless hours promoting their welfare and striving for their benefit.

“Catherine’s willingness to go above and beyond to help others shows how great our agency partners are and what an impact they make in our community,” said Stephanie Mueller, vice president of corporate communications and customer success for Metropolitan Utilities District. “We appreciate her amazing heart along with our customer-owners that donate to the Home Fund, providing utility assistance to those who need it most.”

Visit www.mudomaha.com/homefund to learn more about the Home Fund and make a donation to help customers in need.

If you are in need of assistance with utility bills or other resources, visit our Agency Finder to find an organization in your area.

 

Do you know someone at your agency who goes above and beyond to assist clients with Dollar Energy Fund applications and other services? We want to recognize them! Send an email to aallen@dollarenergy.org.

AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is Accepting Applications for Summer Cooling Assistance

Posted on: July 15, 2021

AEP OhioThe AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is now accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2021 summer cooling season.

Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, and Dollar Energy Fund, the Neighbor to Neighbor Program supports families in need with a grant applied directly to their AEP Ohio account to prevent disconnection of, or to restore their electric service. Cooling assistance is available once per program year on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible account holders may apply through August 31, 2021, while funds are available.

“The global pandemic was extremely difficult for many families and individuals we serve in Ohio, and some continue to face significant economic challenges,” said Jon Williams, managing director of customer experience and distribution technology for AEP Ohio. “As a good community partner and neighbor, we’re committed to supporting people who are struggling to make ends meet. Through this cooling program, we can help our customers – especially the elderly and those with health problems – maintain their electric service during the hot summer months.”

Since AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009, more than $15.4 million in assistance has been granted to more than 64,000 Ohio households.

To apply, customers may contact one of the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program’s network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. To qualify, an applicant’s total gross household income must be at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

For example, a family of four earning up to $79,500 per year is income-eligible for the program. Households must have an outstanding balance on their bill of at least $50 and behind on bill payment 30 days or more. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.

“Dollar Energy Fund is proud to maintain its support for AEP Ohio and its efforts to serve families who find themselves in a temporary financial crisis,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund. “The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program has become a very useful resource for thousands of households across Ohio, enabling them to maintain utility service when blindsided by unexpected circumstances.”

The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program 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 www.AEPOhio.com/N2N or by sending a check directly to The AEP 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 Neighbor to Neighbor Program will be matched by AEP Ohio. These matching funds and 100% of your donation will assist limited-income families residing in Ohio to afford utility service. With AEP Ohio’s generous match, your tax-deductible donation will have twice the impact!

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.

Stay Cool and Conserve Energy

Posted on: June 29, 2021

Summer heat is in full swing and customers around the country are experiencing temperatures well above 90 degrees. Regardless of where you live, as the weather gets warmer, you want your house to get cooler. With help from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), we have compiled a few energy-saving tips to help you and your family save money while staying cool and comfortable.

 

Check your Thermostat

  • The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill.
  • Every degree you raise your air conditioning thermostat above 72 degrees can save up to 3% on cooling expenses.

Fan Yourself

  • Fans circulate the air, keeping you feeling cooler, even at higher temperatures. A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
  • Most ceiling fans are created with a small switch that controls blade rotation. Look for this switch, and then make sure it is turning in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind-chill effect. Turn fans off when you leave the room to conserve energy.

Follow the Shade & Block the Heat

  • Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
  • Use window blinds and coverings at the sunniest time of day to reduce unwanted heat buildup.
  • Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.

Don’t Add Extra Heat

  • Postpone using heat-producing appliances, such as clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until it is cooler.
  • Consider cooking with outdoor barbecue grills or microwaves, rather than stoves or ovens, which add indoor heat.
  • Avoid baths and take short showers instead. Use the spot ventilation of a bathroom fan to remove the humidity in your home.
  • Power OFF non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.

Avoid Heating Your Thermostat

  • Do not place lamps or television sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.

Use Natural Ventilation

  • If you live in a climate where the temperature will significantly drop overnight, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. As soon as you wake up in the morning, close your windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
  • Natural ventilation works best in climates with cool nights and regular breezes.

Clean is “Green”

  • Clean and replace air conditioner filters regularly and make sure air circulation paths are clear.

 

This heat season is especially dangerous, with high temperatures breaking records. Practice heat safety with these health tips:

  • Check on relatives, friends, and neighbors
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Wear light clothing
  • Keep pets and children cool and hydrated
  • Recognize heat-related illness

 

Dollar Energy Fund partners with utility companies and community-based organizations in 14 states, including warm-weather ones like California, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas. Without the means to afford air conditioning, many families suffer from the heat throughout the year.

For that reason, it is important to consider donating to Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program year-round. We want to provide the most assistance possible for those who can’t afford to be comfortable.

 

Source: PA PUC (www.puc.pa.gov)

Jerseys for Warmth raises $64,000 for local families

Posted on: June 7, 2021

Jerseys for Warmth

The Jerseys for Warmth Charitable Action raised more than $64,000 to support Dollar Energy Fund and benefit local families in need of utility assistance. Our utility partners provided a dollar-for-dollar match on all donations and 100% of proceeds will be used to help an estimated 178 local families maintain or restore basic utility service.

Over two dozen Pittsburgh Penguins game-worn jerseys from the team’s 8-4 victory on March 6, 2021, versus the Buffalo Sabres, were auctioned off online. Each jersey was autographed and featured a commemorative patch authentication.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Jerseys for Warmth auction! Click here to view our upcoming fundraising efforts and find out how you can help a neighbor in need this year.

Fairview Elementary School raises $15,000 for families in need

Posted on: May 20, 2021


Students at Fairview Elementary School participated in an annual Read-A-Thon to help their neighbors in need. 102 students in Kindergarten through fifth grade read for a total of 31,469 minutes over two weeks and raised $9,018!

The students donated $7,414 to Dollar Energy Fund to provide assistance to families struggling to afford their utility bills due to being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dollar Energy Fund’s utility partners matched all donations dollar-for-dollar. Their efforts will provide approximately $15,000 in utility assistance to local families in need.

Thank you to everyone at Fairview Elementary School who participated in the Read-A-Thon. We’d also like to thank Chick-fil-A for donating free sandwich coupons to each of the participating readers.

Dollar Energy Fund Celebrates 38 Years

Posted on: April 15, 2021

On April 19, 2021, Dollar Energy Fund will mark its 38th anniversary of helping our neighbors in need with utility assistance. What began as a small community effort, has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds for limited-income families across the country.

Our History

Dollar Energy Fund was founded on April 19, 1983, in Western Pennsylvania by a coalition of concerned community and business leaders.

In 1983, Betty Ann Simon was working as a volunteer for KDKA’s “Call for Action,” a program that helped people find agencies to assist them in solving problems. She found herself inundated with calls from low-income individuals seeking help with their mounting utility bills. Betty Ann was compelled to help, so she reached out to her contacts from various regional religious and social agencies. This led local religious and community leaders to recognize that far too many of their less fortunate neighbors were unable to afford the cost of heat, electricity and water. In response to the growing crisis, a coalition of 24 community leaders formed Dollar Energy Fund.

Dollar Energy Fund was headquartered at Synod Hall in the Saint Paul Cathedral in Oakland. The grassroots effort started contacting utility companies and executives agreed to contribute on a dollar-for-dollar basis. For every dollar raised, the utility company would also give one dollar to help a family in need. During its first year, Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program distributed $397,200 to 1,218 households in Pennsylvania.

Betty Ann worked tirelessly for two decades directly addressing the daily struggles faced by thousands of limited-income households in Pennsylvania. From her position as a founder in 1983, to her active service on the Board until her passing in 2002, she focused on developing ways to immediately provide assistance to families facing difficulties in affording safe and adequate utility service.

Our organization has since grown to become the largest hardship fund in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the country. For 38 years, we’ve served the limited-income community by providing $170 million in utility assistance grants to more than 605,000 limited-income families and individuals.

Our Partnerships

Dollar Energy Fund began with three utility partners – Duquesne Light Company, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, and Peoples Natural Gas – and 24 community-based agencies in Western Pennsylvania. We 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; and most recently, Nebraska in 2020.

Today, our organization administers Hardship Programs for more than 45 utility companies across 14 states. 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. This approach puts at-risk households in touch with additional services—such as food, childcare and career assistance.

Our Unique Funding Model

As Betty Ann Simon intended, 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.

Looking Forward

Though much has changed since 1983, many aspects of Dollar Energy Fund remain the same. The majority of funding is obtained through private donations and matching utility shareholder credits; each Hardship Program application is reviewed individually; and the focus is still on our clients and the mission of helping neighbors in need.

As Dollar Energy Fund continues to expand, so does the need for utility assistance. Dollar Energy Fund is still working to fulfill its mission of helping families on their path to self-sufficiency. If you would like to help a neighbor in need, please visit www.dollarenergy.org/donate.

Spring Energy-Saving Tips

Posted on: March 20, 2021

Spring

A new season brings a new opportunity to make your home more energy-efficient. Here are a few simple tips to improve the comfort of your home as warmer temperatures arrive this spring, while also saving money on utility bills.

Open Windows

Use the breeze at night to cool your home without switching on air conditioners.

Block the Sun

Shade your home from direct sunlight – use shades, drapes and awnings to block the sun from heating your home.

Grill Outside

Move the cooking outside on warm spring days to keep the heat out of your home.

Clean Out the Refrigerator

By removing unneeded and expired food, air will circulate more efficiently inside the fridge. Clear dust from the coils behind your fridge to reduce energy consumption.

Adjust the Ceiling Fan

Move the small switch on the side of your ceiling fan to make the blades rotate counterclockwise and create a cool breeze. If you feel airflow when standing directly under the fan, it’s working.

Turn Down the Water Heater

Switch your water heater temperature to the warm setting (120°F).

Give AC a Tuneup

Check and replace your air filters regularly and schedule annual maintenance with a qualified technician.

Seal Air Leaks

Use low-cost caulk or weather stripping to keep warm air from seeping in.

 

For more tips on how to conserve water outdoors this season, click here.

Categories

Archives

Calendar

September 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Average Grant Amount in PA = $388.42