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Use Amazon Smile for Back to School Shopping

Posted on: August 14, 2018

 

It’s that time of year again! Summer is coming to an end and you’re getting ready to send the kids back to school. Unfortunately, some kids can only enjoy simple services, such as electricity and air conditioning, when they are in the classroom. More than half of the households supported by Dollar Energy Fund have children under the age of 18. Luckily, you have the opportunity to help your neighbors in need when you shop for back-to-school supplies.

By supporting Dollar Energy Fund through Amazon Smile, not only will you teach your kids the value of giving, but you will also help a family afford basic utility service this season. Sign up by visiting smile.amazon.com and select Dollar Energy Fund as your charity. Then, shop on Amazon through the smile.amazon.com link.

Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on Amazon Smile, the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. There is no additional cost to you!

As always, all funds received by Dollar Energy Fund will be matched dollar for dollar by our partnering utility companies. This is a great way to support our Hardship Program and help the thousands of families who risk facing the rest of the year without basic utility service.

Tell your friends and family to help us spread the word about Amazon Smile!

Dollar Energy Fund Supports LIHEAP Action Month

Posted on: August 9, 2018

LIHEAP

August marks LIHEAP Action Month and highlights the year-round effort to protect the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

During the most extreme weather periods, energy is a life-critical resource. Unfortunately, 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. LIHEAP provides help to vulnerable households by assisting with energy costs and offers much needed relief for thousands of people who rely on the service.

LIHEAP and Dollar Energy Fund

Dollar Energy Fund works in conjunction with LIHEAP to make sure that limited-income individuals and families still receive the financial assistance they need to survive. When the LIHEAP program is open, eligible customers must apply for LIHEAP 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.

#SaveLIHEAP

In March, Congress approved the $1.3 trillion spending bill and made a FY2018 increase for LIHEAP a reality. The bill provided $3.64 billion for LIHEAP, an improvement of $250 million, which was the largest increase since 2009. The National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) and advocates from across the country have worked tirelessly to urge Congress to support the program. The #SaveLIHEAP effort has undoubtedly contributed to this successful outcome.

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. Advocates are asking Congress to protect and increase LIHEAP appropriations for FY2019. 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.

Advocacy Begins with Understanding

Please take the time to learn more about NEUAC and LIHEAP Action Month 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.

Support Dollar Energy Fund on Amazon Prime Day

Posted on: July 16, 2018

Amazon’s Prime Day is here! Deals start on July 16, 2018 (3pm ET) and run through July 17, 2018. With 100,000 deals exclusively for Prime members, Prime Day is considered the biggest Amazon event ever, exceeding Black Friday records. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to help your neighbors in need as you shop online!

You can help them by supporting Dollar Energy Fund through Amazon Smile. Sign up by visiting smile.amazon.com and select Dollar Energy Fund as your charity. Then, shop on Amazon through the smile.amazon.com link. Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on Amazon Smile, the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate a percentage of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. There is no additional cost to you!

As always, all funds received by Dollar Energy Fund will be matched dollar for dollar by our partnering utility companies. This is a great way to support our Hardship Program and help the thousands of families who risk facing the rest of the year without basic utility service.

Tell your friends and family to help us spread the word about Amazon Smile – and happy shopping!

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

Posted on: July 6, 2018

Neighbor to NeighborThe AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is now accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2018 summer cooling season. Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), 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 – may provide assistance once per program year to families facing an immediate utility crisis. With help from the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, families in need can receive a grant that is applied directly to their AEP Ohio account that has been terminated or to prevent the termination of their electric service. The program will accept applications from households seeking cooling assistance on a first-come, first-served basis through August 31, 2018, while funds are available.

AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009 and have helped more than 52,000 Ohio families with more than $12 million in utility assistance grants.

“The summer heat can be particularly 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, keeping the house cool during the hot summer months also can be an extremely challenging 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 continues.”

To apply, customers may contact one of the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program 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 $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 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.

“AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor has become a program that typically 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 AEP Ohio 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. 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.dollarenergyfund.org.

Dollar Energy Fund attends 2018 NEUAC Conference

Posted on: June 29, 2018

Several members of Dollar Energy Fund’s staff and management team attended the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) 2018 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on June 26-28, 2018. NEUAC is a national coalition of diverse member organizations and individuals dedicated to raising awareness on the energy needs of low and limited-income energy consumers and fostering partnerships to help address these needs. For 30 years, the conference has been the nation’s leading annual meeting of energy assistance leaders.

Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Executive Officer, finished out his final conference as the President for NEUAC’s Board of Directors. Hundreds of leaders and experts within the energy assistance community, including utility companies, fuel funds, community-based organizations, government and tribal communities, attended the conference to learn more about emerging trends and best practices related to the low and limited-income families that we serve every day. These eager individuals took advantage of training and educational opportunities as well as shared experiences, common challenges, and most importantly, solutions and successes.

This time last year, Dollar Energy Fund’s Director of Communications, Jody Robertson, introduced fuel funds around the county to Dollar Energy Fund’s annual Cool Down for Warmth fundraiser. Her workshop gave a comprehensive look at how this successful event comes together and encouraged others to create an ice house fundraiser in their own communities. This year, Jody returned to join representatives from Fuel Fund of Maryland, New Jersey SHARES and Washington Area Fuel Fund to recap the four ice houses that were built in the Northeast to raise awareness and funding for families in need of heating assistance. The four fuel funds combined this year to raise over $1.2 million through their ice house events.

Left to right – Debbie Brown (Fuel Fund of Maryland), Barbara Gomes (NJ SHARES), Kelly Caplan (Washington Gas/WAFF), Jody Robertson (Dollar Energy Fund)

Additionally, Chad Quinn joined representatives from Washington Gas, Energy Outreach Colorado and HeartShare for a Fundraising for Energy Assistance expert panel. This particular session discussed tips on planning special events, donor campaigns, sponsorship packages, program underwriting, grant writing and more.

Left to right – Kelly Caplan (Washington Gas/WAFF), Chad Quinn (Dollar Energy Fund), Jennifer Gremmert (Energy Outreach Colorado), Joe (HeartShare)

Dollar Energy Fund was presented the Victorine Q. Adams Award at the conference for raising public awareness and generating financial aid for people in need of energy assistance. The late Mrs. Adams founded one of the nation’s first fuel fund programs in Baltimore and dedicated her life to helping her community. We were proud to accept the award, alongside our partners, utilities and community-based organizations. Our supporters through organizations like NEUAC enable us to continue our mission and reach our most vulnerable neighbors across 12 states.

Left to right – Debbie Brown (Fuel Fund of Maryland), Barbara Gomes (NJ SHARES), Chad Quinn (Dollar Energy Fund), Kelly Caplan (Washington Gas/WAFF), Mike Bradford (Salvation Army and current NEUAC Board President)

Click here for more information about the conference. “Like” NEUAC on Facebook to get updates about the organization and view more photos from the event.

Pittsburgh EggFest raises $1,340 for Dollar Energy Fund

Posted on: June 25, 2018

Dollar Energy Fund attended the Pittsburgh EggFest, hosted by Hearth & Home Furnishings, on Saturday, June 23, 2018. We were so grateful to be the recipient of the EggFest’s raffle proceeds through our continued partnership with Hearth & Home. They generously donated a medium Big Green Egg for Dollar Energy Fund to raffle at the event.

The tenth annual Pittsburgh EggFest welcomed friends and families out to the Hearth & Home store in Zelienople for live cooking demonstrations, tasting passes, good music, and many prizes. Attendees were eager to enter the raffle and assist their local neighbors in need.

On behalf of the many families we will be able to help, we gratefully accepted the raffle proceeds donation of $670 from Hearth & Home. We would like to thank Nancy and Megan at Hearth & Home for donating the egg and allowing us to participate in the event. They share our passion for helping their neighbors in need of utility assistance year-round.

We would also be remiss without thanking Peoples, which generously agreed to match the proceeds from the EggFest raffle. With a match from Peoples, Dollar Energy Fund received $1,340 from the event, which will help approximately four Butler County families restore or maintain safe utility service.

Thank you to all who attended the EggFest and participated in the raffle. Congratulations to the raffle winner! Keep your eyes open for next year’s EggFest and for the Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart campaign.

To view more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook page.

EggFest

Golf Classic Recap

Posted on: June 21, 2018

Golf Classic

Dollar Energy Fund hosted its annual Golf Classic on Friday, June 15, 2018. We welcomed 32 foursomes and more than 120 guests at Quicksilver Golf Club for a great day on the course.

The day started off with our renowned Bloody Mary bar and breakfast from our friends at Quicksilver. Golfers set out on the course shortly after 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, courtesy of our friends at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Labatt. Hot dogs were also served at the turn.

After all teams finished the course, Rita’s Italian Ice surprised everyone back at the clubhouse with spiked drinks. Guests also enjoyed lunch and networked with friends inside the clubhouse as they viewed over 50 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 Board President, Ron Giulianelli, presented awards.

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania held their position as Utility Cup reigning champions for the fourth year in a row! Columbia’s team included Ken Brewer, Phil Spencer, Jerry Litzenberg and Dave Bokash. 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 had their name engraved on the cup and will be able to keep the trophy until they defend the title once again during next year’s outing.

We want to thank everyone who helped with the 2018 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.

 

Golf Classic

 

Golf Classic

 

Pittsburgh EggFest to benefit Dollar Energy Fund

Posted on: June 13, 2018

Dollar Energy Fund will attend the 10th annual Pittsburgh EggFest, hosted by Hearth & Home Furnishings, on Saturday, June 23, 2018. We proudly support Hearth & Home and partner with them for their Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart campaign, which assists us in keeping local families warm during the winter months. This year’s EggFest will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at their Zelienople location (300 North Main Street, Zelienople, PA 16063).

Each year they set up 20 – 25 Big Green Egg grills for live cooking demonstrations and informal tastings. Big Green Egg enthusiasts and cooks from all backgrounds will show off their skills by preparing a variety of food throughout the day. “Tasters” have the opportunity to enjoy the great selection of fresh-off-the-grill food and win prizes.

EggFests are held throughout the country for fellow Egg-Heads to flaunt their cooking skills. The Big Green Eggs that are used to cook on the day of the event are available for pre-sale at a discounted price. These are first come, first served and only a limited number are available.

Once again this year, Dollar Energy Fund will be the beneficiary of the EggFest’s Big Green Egg Raffle. Hearth & Home, which stocks and sells the Big Green Eggs out of its showroom, will hold a raffle for a medium Big Green Egg grill ($885 value). Staff from Dollar Energy Fund will be on site to sell raffle tickets. All proceeds will support Dollar Energy Fund in assisting local Butler County families in need of financial assistance on their utility bills. Peoples generously agreed to match the proceeds dollar-for-dollar to help as many families as possible.

Last year, with the help of Hearth & Home and Peoples, Dollar Energy Fund received $2,150 from the event to be put towards our campaign total.

If you’d like to attend the Pittsburgh EggFest, you can purchase tickets here. Last year’s event was sold out, so buy your tickets in advance! Click here to read more about the event.

Can’t attend the EggFest? Our friends at Hearth & Home are pre-selling raffle tickets before the event, so visit their showroom today for your chance to win.

Hearth & Home presented the Big Green Egg to last year’s raffle winner, John Staub.

Save Money at Home while on Vacation

Posted on: May 10, 2018

 

Vacation

Summer is just around the corner and you’re probably making plans for a weekend getaway or family vacation. Vacation is all about escaping your daily routines and spending quality time with family or friends. However, just because your house is empty doesn’t mean the appliances have stopped increasing your electric bill.

Before you get out of town, don’t forget to prepare your home for energy savings while you’re away. Use these tips to ensure your vacation won’t be ruined by a high utility bill.

6 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home while on Vacation

  • Water heating can account for 14%-25% of your home energy. Turn down your water heater to the lowest possible setting, or “vacation” mode.

 

  • Unless pets are left at home, there is no reason to keep your air conditioner running. During hot summer months, the thermostat can either be set at 85 or turned off completely. If you have a programmable thermostat, set the temperature to change on the day of arrival so you can come home to a comfortable home. If you are leaving a pet at home for a few days, be sure to keep the temperature at a safe setting and have a neighbor check on the animal frequently.

 

  • “Energy vampires” are items that still use a significant amount of electricity even when they are turned off. Before you leave, walk around your home and unplug every unnecessary appliance and electronic. Pay close attention to televisions, lamps, entertainment centers, coffee pots, digital clocks, cell phone chargers, electric razors, and anything else that isn’t in use while you’re away. This also eliminates possible fire hazards.

 

  • Lower blinds and close curtains when you’re leaving for vacation. This useful tip will prevent excess heat from entering your home.

 

  • Your refrigerator is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home. Conserve energy by adjusting the thermostat to a higher temperature on your refrigerator and freezer. For extended trips lasting weeks or months, empty your fridge and unplug.

 

  • Most importantly, make sure all lights are turned off. While leaving a light on is a good safety idea, it is a complete waste of energy. Invest in an automatic timer ($10-$20) so specific lights will turn on and off at designated times. This can discourage burglars by giving the illusion that someone is home. You can also ask a neighbor to visit your home and turn a light on at night and off during the day. It’s a simple task if they are already feeding pets or watering plants.

 

Source: energy.gov

Support Dollar Energy Fund while shopping for Mother’s Day

Posted on: May 4, 2018

Mother's Day

Don’t forget Dollar Energy Fund while you’re shopping for that special Mother’s Day gift. Make your mother proud by donating a portion of your gift purchase through AmazonSmile to help families in need stay cool this summer.

You can use AmazonSmile the same way you use Amazon to purchase almost anything, but by using Smile, Amazon donates a portion of your purchase to your charity of choice. There is no cost to you!

To begin shopping today for your everyday Amazon goods while contributing to Dollar Energy Fund, simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. Once there, you can make us your charity of choice.

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Award Nominations

Award nominations are now being accepted for our 35th Annual Luncheon on September 14, 2018. Nominate someone today!

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