The Pittsburgh region has experienced a dangerously hot summer this year. July clocked in as the hottest month ever recorded. While winter might feel far off for some, it’s all many of our struggling Pittsburgh neighbors can think about. The stress of approaching the cold months is a reality for thousands of households in our area. Instead of worrying about snowy roads and shoveling their walkways, limited-income families are wondering if they will make it through the winter. They will stretch their thin incomes and still not come up with the necessary funds to keep their homes warm and their pipes from freezing.
With your help, we can assist these families on a path to self-sufficiency. On Monday, August 26, Dollar Energy Fund will be passing out popsicles in downtown Pittsburgh to raise awareness on the need for utility assistance in our region as summer comes to an end and the heating season approaches.
National Popsicle Day
Monday, August 26, 2019
PPG Plaza, Downtown Pittsburgh
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Who does Dollar Energy Fund help?
Dollar Energy Fund’s Pennsylvania Hardship Program assists eligible customers with their gas, electric and water service by providing a one-time grant that is applied directly to their utility bill. This program is a fund of last resort because it goes above and beyond what is available through federal, state and other programs. Many who receive a grant from the program are experiencing a temporary financial hardship, such as a job loss, medical emergency, or other circumstance beyond their control. An assistance grant can help keep them from enduring further financial hardship or having to choose between paying their monthly utility bills and purchasing food, medicine or other necessities.
$3.6 million was granted to 10,466 families in Pennsylvania during the 2017-2018 program year.
Dollar Energy Fund has assisted 7,042 families in the Greater Pittsburgh Region* with $2.49 million in utility assistance grants during the 2017-2018 program year.
1,775 households were without utility service before receiving a grant.
More than half of the households supported have children under the age of 18.
20% of households that receive a grant have seniors (62 years old or older).
Over 85% of grant recipients are either currently employed or receiving retirement or disability benefits.
*Counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland.
The demand for assistance from our program has grown significantly due to increased costs of everyday living expenses and severe weather conditions. To meet the need, we rely on the generosity of individual donors. Our unique funding model provides a dollar-for-dollar match from our partnering utility companies for 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.
Registration is now open for Dollar Energy Fund’s 36th Annual Luncheon on Friday, September 6, 2019. The event will be held inside Rivers Casino. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and the program will begin at noon.
Join us for this special event as we celebrate the success of Dollar Energy Fund and our partners over the past year. This year’s event will include lunch, words from our CEO, a keynote address, an awards presentation, online silent auction, raffle and much more.
Please RSVP by Friday, August 23, 2019. You can do so online by visiting our event website. Individual tickets for the event cost $50 (partnering agencies receive two free tickets). VIP Tables are also available, including 10 tickets and sponsorship signage.
Our Annual Luncheon will celebrate the efforts our partners, donors and friends have extended to help Dollar Energy Fund meet its mission. We will continue to take this opportunity to present awards to recognize those who are making a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. This is an excellent opportunity to recognize leaders who strive to assist the limited-income community and soar above and beyond for Dollar Energy Fund’s mission.
Click here to learn more about our awards and access nomination forms. Please submit your nominations no later than Friday, August 9, 2019, to be eligible for consideration. They may be electronically submitted to email@example.com or faxed to 412-431-2085.
The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is now accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2019 summer cooling 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 summer months can apply for assistance to maintain or restore their electric service.
Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program – one of the largest in the country – helps eligible families facing an immediate utility crisis. The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program supports families in need with a grant applied directly to their AEP Ohio account to prevent disconnection of, or 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, 2019, while funds are available.
This year marks 10 years since AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009. The AEP Ohio program has provided more than $13.5 million in assistance to more than 56,000 customers during this time.
“We’ve made a commitment to the communities we serve to be a good community partner and neighbor,” said Katie Grayem, director of customer experience for AEP Ohio. “Summer heat can contribute to dangerous conditions, especially for the elderly and those with health problems. The Summer Cooling Program is one of many ways we help our customers who may struggle to afford keeping their homes cool during the summer.”
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 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.
For example, a family of four earning up to $51,500 per year is income-eligible for the program. Households must have made payments to AEP Ohio totaling at least $75 in the last 90 days and owe a minimum of $50 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.
“For 10 years, Dollar Energy Fund has been proud to support AEP Ohio’s efforts to serve families who find themselves in a temporary financial situation and need help making ends meet,” 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 an unexpected expense.”
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 AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor 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.
Dollar Energy Fund hosted its annual Golf Classic on Friday, June 21, 2019. We welcomed 26 foursomes and more than 100 guests 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 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. With friendly competitions along the way, such as hole-in-one challenges, longest drive contests and more, golfers remained engaged and entertained for all 18 holes. Our staff worked diligently to provide golfers with cold drinks 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 CBTS and Dell EMC, and networked with friends as they viewed over 40 silent auction items. Burgers, grilled chicken, coleslaw and potato salad were just a few of the delicious lunch options to choose from. Shortly after, Dollar Energy Fund’s CEO, Chad Quinn, and Director of Communications, Jody Robertson, presented awards.
A foursome from Peoples Natural Gas beat out reigning champions, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, to win the Utility Cup. As a prize, Peoples’ 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.
We want to thank everyone who helped with the 2019 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.
The sun is shining and summer is right around the corner. During these warmer months, we spend more time outdoors tending to our lawns, growing gardens, and washing our cars. All of these activities require water. More than half of the average household’s water occurs outdoors. As a result, your water bill can see a significant increase during the next few months. Using these simple tips will reduce your water bill and save you money.
Inspect your garden hose and irrigation system for leaks. Check hose connectors to make sure rubber washers are in place.
Add a shut-off nozzle to your hose. You can save about 5-7 gallons each minute your hose is on.
Put out a rain barrel. Collecting rain water is an excellent (and FREE) way to water your indoor plants or wash your car.
Water outdoor plants in the morning or late evening. Due to the colder temperatures, less water will be lost from evaporation. Avoid watering on windy and hot days.
Use a broom to clean off outside living areas (decks, porches, driveways), rather than hosing them off.
When cutting the lawn, set the mower blade to 2-3 inches high. The longer grass will shade the soil, allowing for better moisture retention.
Keep your mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear grass, making it susceptible to disease, and causing it to appear tan and worn.
Only water your lawn when necessary. Over-watering results in the growth of shallow root systems that are easily damaged. If rainfall isn’t sufficient, water your lawn once a week. This routine will encourage healthier and deeper grass roots.
Mulch around plants and flower beds to keep the soil cool, reduce moisture evaporation, promote growth and control weeds.
Take your car to the car wash, rather than washing it at home. Most commercial car washes recycle the water.
Wash your pet outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs watering.
Don’t water your lawn during a drought. The grass may turn brown, but it is not dead. Your lawn will turn dormant during dry and hot spells, but it will revive itself when wetter weather returns.
Dollar Energy Fund hosted its second annual fishing tournament, Fishing for a Cause, on Sunday, May 5, 2019. The weather didn’t stop dozens of anglers from coming out to support their neighbors in need. We welcomed 40 boats to Smith Mountain Lake – Parkway Marina, Virginia. The event raised nearly $20,000, including a utility partner match, to assist limited-income customers of Appalachian Power Company maintain or restore basic electric service through our Virginia Neighbor to Neighbor Program.
The day started off before dawn with registration and check-in. Our anglers set out on the lake at 7 a.m. and didn’t return until the afternoon. When boats arrived back at the marina, our guests enjoyed lunch and an award presentation, where they received great giveaways and prizes.
Everyone who entered the tournament was eligible to win a grand prize of $2,000, courtesy of New River Electrical Corp. Our lucky grand prize winners were Erin & Kristina Smith. The first place team with the biggest catch was Mike and Michael Nichols, with a total weight of 19.82 pounds. The tournament payout guaranteed a cash prize for the top five anglers. Congratulations to all of our winners!
Mike Nichols – Michael Nichols
Michael Thomas – Taylor Thomas
J Draper – Tatum
B Humpreyes – M Oaks
Jason Adams – Zach Peaslee
T Hatcher – M Henxley
T Bowling – Lythgoe
T Vallastro – Bates
David Witt – Mike Lemaster
T Miles – Sawyer
T Weeks – T Gray
D Smathers – Suhy
T Smith – Smith
Dale Wood – Steve Bright
T Massie – Arrington
J Holdren – B Giles
T Wooldridge – T Akers
T Ashley – T Johnson
B Wright – T Wright
We want to thank everyone who helped with our Fishing for a Cause fundraiser. This event was made possible through a partnership with Appalachian Power Company and Conrad Brothers Marine. We are grateful to everyone at Conrad Brothers Marine, BassQuest SML, Parkway Marina and Appalachian Power for their excellent service and support – we could not have done it without you.
Dollar Energy Fund would also like to thank all of our sponsors for their generosity, including New River Electrical Corp., Elliot, Integrity Tree Services, Townsend, Hapco, Osmose, Orvis, Uttermost and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Their involvement was an integral part of making our event a success, and it goes a long way towards helping the families we serve.
At Dollar Energy Fund, we always encourage you to have fun while raising money for families and individuals who are on their path to self-sufficiency. Stay tuned for future events in Virginia by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
To view more photos from our fishing tournament, click here.
Congratulations to our first place team, Mike and Michael Nichols, with a total weight of 19.82 pounds.
UPDATE: Thank you for a successful Critical Needs Alert giving event! With a match from The Pittsburgh Foundation and our generous utility partners, the #ONEDAY campaign raised nearly $4,000 for local families in need of utility assistance. We rely on neighbors helping neighbors and every dollar raised makes a huge impact on our community.
Dollar Energy Fund will be participating in The Pittsburgh Foundation’s #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert online giving event on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. #ONEDAY benefits nonprofits that provide essential human services across Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Your contribution will ensure that residents who live at or near the federal poverty line – at least one-third of the region’s population – have access to basic needs, such as utility assistance.
This year’s event will include its largest-ever incentive pool of $788,000. Every donation ($25 minimum) will trigger additional funding from the incentive pool. All donations to Dollar Energy Fund will also receive a dollar-for-dollar match from our utility partners, making your donation go further to help even more families. As usual, 100% of all donations and matching funds to Dollar Energy Fund will go directly to assist our most vulnerable neighbors in need with utility assistance. 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.
The #ONEDAY event officially begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Donations may be prescheduled by visiting www.pittsburghgives.org beginning Thursday, May 2, 2019.
We hope we can count on your support during #ONEDAY. Please mark your calendars and visit our profile page on www.pittsburghgives.org to make a contribution.
Our five finalists included Joe Delozier, Justin Matuszak, Dave Diamond, Patty Bennett and Randi Dickson. Before the puck dropped, each of them had the opportunity to reach into a gift bag and select a hockey puck. The bag contained four autographed pucks and one non-autographed puck. The person who received the non-autographed puck was our grand prize winner and was able to join the Shirts Off Our Backs selection process. Click here to see the finalists pick their pucks!
Dollar Energy Fund’s grand prize winner was Joe Delozier and, through Shirts Off Our Backs, he received Patric Hornqvist’s autographed, game-worn jersey on the ice. Congrats, Joe!
Thank you to all of the Penguins fans who purchased raffle tickets. Each ticket resulted in a $5 donation for Dollar Energy Fund. The Fan Appreciation Night Raffle raised nearly $8,000 and all proceeds will be used to help our neighbors in need restore or maintain basic utility service.
Dollar Energy Fund is halfway through a successful 2018-2019 program year. Take a look at what we have accomplished during the past six months, with the help of our staff, utility partners and supporters.
In November, the 10th annual Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart Campaign kicked off with a reception at Hearth and Home Furnishings in Zelienople. Efforts to date have brought our ten-year total to more than $160,000, including a generous match from Peoples, to assist gas customers throughout Butler County.
Dollar Energy Fund was the presenting sponsor and benefiting charity of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland for the second year in a row. Shadrack’s made a generous donation of $20,000 to Dollar Energy Fund. Through a partnershp with Chick-fil-A, coupons were distributed to customers to receive $2 off admission. Dollar Energy Fund received $1 donation for every coupon redeemed. These efforts resulted in utility assistance for 115 local families.
Dollar Energy Fund hosted its 2nd annual Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon at iHeartMedia studios and broadcasted on 3WS Pittsburgh. The event raised $93,872 to provide utility assistance to approximately 260 Pittsburgh families who were struggling to stay warm.
Duquesne Light Company supported Dollar Energy Fund during its Power It Forward campaign through a ’12 days of giving’ fundraiser and text-to-give campaign for Pittsburghers in need.
Dollar Energy Fund participated in #GiveBigPittsburgh, an online giving day hosted by the Pittsburgh Magazine on Giving Tuesday.
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Dollar Energy Fund teamed up to host our first ever Topgolf Fundraiser in November. The event raised $12,210, including a dollar-for-dollar match by Columbia, to benefit customers in need. This amount provided much-needed heating assistance to approximately 35 households this winter.
In December, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania hosted a fundraiser in partnership with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. A portion of every Pittsburgh ticket sold was donated to Dollar Energy Fund, totaling more than $11,200.
Dollar Energy Fund received notification from the McCune Foundation that our organization was awarded $250,000 in grant funding to support the preliminary planning of the Utility Scale Solar Generation Facility.
In January, Dollar Energy Fund raised more than $156,000 during its 5th annual Cool Down for Warmth event in Market Square. The amount raised gave assistance to approximately 450 Pittsburgh families and individuals who were struggling to afford safe utility service.
During Cool Down for Warmth, we hosted our 3rd annual Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting, presented by BNY Mellon. Twenty-one local restaurants showed up to support Dollar Energy Fund and serve cups of soup to the lunchtime crowd. Bowls for Warmth raised over $10,000 in two days, including a match from our utility partners.
In February, Dollar Energy Fund’s 11th annual Warmathon on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA raised $155,000, which provided utility assistance grants to 430 Pittsburgh-area households.
Through our partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins, we hosted a variety of fundraisers this season to expand our reach and awareness in the community. Our Jerseys for Warmth Auction raised more than $53,000 to benefit Peoples Natural Gas customers in need. In March, our Fan Appreciation Night Raffle raised nearly $8,000, including a match from our utility partners.
This year, Dollar Energy Fund started contracts with many new utility partners. We now administer programs for Pacific Gas & Electric, West View Water Authority, and Maryland American Water.
Most importantly, Dollar Energy Fund has distributed over 10,700 grants, totaling more than $3 million across the country since October 1, 2018.
With your help, we can continue to provide immediate and direct assistance during our 2018-2019 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. If you would like to get involved during this program year, subscribe to our email newsletters to stay up-to-date on our latest fundraising campaigns. We have many more fundraising opportunities coming up this summer, including our Fishing for a Cause tournament and Golf Classic.
On behalf of the many individuals, seniors and families we’ve helped, we thank you for your continued support!
Today marks the beginning of spring and a new opportunity to make your home more energy-efficient. Here are just a few simple tips to improve the comfort of your home as warmer temperatures arrive, while also saving money on utility bills.
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.
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.