As we get closer to our 12th annual Warmathon, we are gathering incentives to encourage supporters to call in and donate to local, limited-income families who need help restoring or maintaining safe utility service this winter. Tune in to NewsRadio 1020 KDKA on February 13 and 14, and listen for your chance to win the following:
Whirlpool 5.2 Cu. Ft. Wider Undercounter Beverage Center, courtesy of Dormont Appliance
We will have many more surprise incentives announced during the event. Be sure to follow Dollar Energy Fund on Twitter and Facebook before the Warmathon begins so you can stay up to date with rapid-fire incentives, guests and promotions throughout the two days.
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 heating grant amount and is enough to keep the utility service on for a household in need this season. Your support at this level will enter you in a drawing to win FREE UTILITY SERVICE FOR ONE YEAR!
Ways to Donate
Call 1-888-745-1020 during the hours of the event and a volunteer will assist you with your donation. Phone lines will be active on Thursday, February 13 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, February 14 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dollar Energy Fund raised more than $315,000 during its Cool Down for Warmth event on January 23 and 24, all with the help of local business leaders, sponsors, utility partners and many generous community individuals. The amount raised will provide assistance for approximately 877 families in Western Pennsylvania who are struggling to afford safe utility service this winter. Though the event is over, donations are still coming in! Those who wish to help local families in need may continue to donate online at www.crowdrise.com/CoolDownForWarmth2020.
Over the course of the two-day event, many supporters sat in Dollar Energy Fund’s giant ice house in Market Square to raise funds and awareness for the thousands of families in our region without heat-related utility service. Many individuals and teams exceeded their fundraising goals, including Morgan O’Brien from Peoples Natural Gas, Duquesne Light Company’s Subzero Heroes, FirstEnergy, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Dave Spigelmyer of Marcellus Shale Coalition, and Walter Bridges of Proforma. Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors Team also exceeded its fundraising goal with the help of members, Paul Atencio, Kyle O’Connor, Joseph Ott, Doug Papa and Michael McGrath. Others showed their support by touring the house and participating in our Bowls for Warmth event.
Morgan O’Brien from Peoples Natural Gas and his supporters quickly surpassed his initial goal and raised a stunning $85,000! Duquesne Light’s Subzero Heroes and their CEO Steve Malnight also surpassed their goal to raise a total of approximately $39,000.
During construction of the ice house and throughout the event, hundreds of downtown Pittsburgh employees passed through Market Square to see the house, take a tour and contribute to the event. Attendees also enjoyed the Dunkin’ Selfie Wall of Ice, Citizens Bank Ice ATM, Re/Max Select Realty Open House Sign, Dormont Appliance Custom Ice Kitchen, and the Ice Garage sponsored by Jim Shorkey Auto Group. Attendees also received numerous giveaways from Dynegy, Dunkin’, Chick-fil-A, McCormick & Schmicks, Eat’n Park, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Pitt Athletics. New this year, our sponsor Dynegy kept our volunteers and ice house attendees warm with a Warming Tent!
Many restaurants donated their time and resources to participate in the Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting, presented by BNY Mellon. This year’s participating restaurants included The Apollo Cafe, Bluebird Kitchen, Braddock’s Rebellion, City Works, Coughlin’s Law, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse, Harris Grill, Las Velas, McCormick & Schmick’s, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, OTB Bicycle Cafe, Patti’s Pasticceria, Primanti Bros., Revel + Roost, Sienna on the Square, The Smiling Moose, Ten Penny, Union Standard, and Vallozzi’s. Bowls for Warmth received a great response from the community, causing the event to bring in an additional $25,000 in donations. After tasting, attendees voted for their favorite soup. The reigning champions, Revel + Roost, secured their spot once again as winner of the People’s Choice Award with their delicious Polenta-Beer Cheese Soup.
On behalf of the limited-income households we will continue to assist this year, thank you to everyone who supported our event! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on future fundraisers, like our Warmathon taking place on February 13 and 14.
Click here to view more Cool Down for Warmth photos.
For the 6th year, Dollar Energy Fund’s Cool Down for Warmth, powered by Dynegy, will return to Market Square on Thursday, January 23, and Friday, January 24, to raise funds and awareness for those in our region who struggle to afford the cost of heat-related utility services. Dollar Energy Fund, a national leader in providing utility assistance to limited-income households, invites the community to visit the1,000 square-foot ice house, participate in the Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting, receive giveaways, and donate to support their neighbors in need between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. both days of the event.
The house, constructed by Mastro Gourmet Ice and made possible through sponsorships from Dynegy, UPMC, Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, Dunkin’ and Dormont Appliance, will be a multi-room, 20’x50’ ice structure and will include an attached garage containing a car from Jim Shorkey Automotive Group. Crews from Mastro Ice began construction of the house in Market Square on Monday, January 20, placing each ice block individually to form the interior and exterior walls, but preparations began in September as they started forming the 249 blocks needed to build the structure. Each block of ice weighs 300 lbs.
Visitors can see the Dormont Appliance kitchen, which will feature appliances and counters carved from ice, and a Citizens Bank Ice ATM will be located near the house entrance. There will also be a dining and living room area with a table and couch carved from ice. New this year, Brian Carothers of RE/MAX Select Realty will feature the ice house in a real estate listing and a carved-ice open house sign will be placed near the entrance.
The Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting presented by BNY Mellon will return this year from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. both days, with twenty local restaurants providing soup options. While supplies last, attendees will receive a cup of soup from their choice of three of the participating vendors and a bottle of water in exchange for a $10 donation. Bowls for Warmth patrons will also receive a Smiley cookie courtesy of Eat ‘n’ Park.
“We bring Cool Down for Warmth to Market Square to draw attention to the many households in this region who struggle to afford the basic costs of heat-related utility service,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer for Dollar Energy Fund. “Each year, this event serves as a way for us to spread the warmth to our neighbors in need. We encourage the community to support Dollar Energy Fund and this event by visiting the ice house, enjoying soup during Bowls for Warmth, and making a contribution to benefit this cause to ensure no one is at risk of facing a Pittsburgh winter without utility service.”
Both days, visitors may receive one of the many giveaways available, including gloves courtesy of Dynegy, a coupon for a free item from Dunkin’, an appetizer voucher from McCormick & Schmick’s, and Chick-fil-A sandwich coupon.
University of Pittsburgh fans are invited to tour the house on Friday at 12:00 noon when members of the University’s football team will be in the ice house to assist with distribution of a ticket giveaway for Saturday, February 5, when the men’s basketball team takes on Georgia Tech.
All coupons and giveaways will be available while supplies last.
Our “ice selfie wall” is sponsored by Dunkin’ and will be available each day for visitors to have a free photo taken inside the house.
iHeartMedia’s 94.5 FM 3WS will provide music daily between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and on-air personality Jonny Hartwell will be in Market Square.
Pittsburgh community members and business leaders, including teams from West Penn Power, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, Peoples Natural Gas, members of Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors and other supporters, will sit in the house during the event to raise funds for local families, children and elderly individuals in need. These individuals and teams will stay in the house until they reach a fundraising goal, which then allows them to get out and “feel the warmth.”
Throughout the event, donation boxes will be available for visitors to contribute financially to families in need. Contributions can also be made online at www.crowdrise.com/CoolDownforWarmth2020 or by texting COOLDOWN to 41411. All proceeds will receive a dollar-for-dollar match from Dollar Energy Fund’s partnering utility companies, which include Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, Peoples Natural Gas and West Penn Power, A FirstEnergy Company. Funds collected will go directly to support local families who are struggling to restore or maintain basic utility service.
Dollar Energy Fund is hosting its 6th annual Cool Down for Warmth event in Market Square on January 23 & 24. The giant ice house is much more than a “cool” sculpture. Our goal is to raise awareness and funds for local families struggling to afford their heating bills this winter. We have a lot going on during the two-day event, so we put together some reasons we think you should join us in the cold.
Tour the Ice House
January 23 & 24: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
A massive 1,000-square-foot ice house will be constructed in Market Square. The house will be made entirely from ice and feature a garage, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Everyone is welcome to tour the ice house.
We are Freezin’ for a Reason
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Cold Weather Survey has revealed that more than 18,350 PA households entered the winter season without heat-related utility service or using unsafe heating sources. Many community leaders and supporters will sit inside the ice house to reach their fundraising goal and raise awareness for these Pittsburgh families in need. They are counting on you to contribute and help them “feel the warmth”! Click here to see who is participating.
Visitors have the chance to receive a variety of giveaway items during both days of the Cool Down for Warmth event, including coupons from Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’, McCormick & Schmick’s, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Giveaways are only available while supplies last. Tour the ice house and visit an information kiosk in Market Square to request your free item.
Dynegy Warming Tent
New this year! After you cool down, make sure you warm up in our Warming Tent, powered by Dynegy. You will also receive a pair of free gloves, while supplies last.
Selfie Ice Wall
If you didn’t take a selfie, did it really happen? We’ve got you covered. Dunkin’ has a photo booth set up inside the ice house. Grab your friends and receive a free digital photo.
This popular event only happens once a year. You don’t want to miss it! Twenty local restaurants participate in a soup challenge, serving cups of soup to the lunchtime crowd in Market Square. Tickets will be sold for $10 and attendees get to sample three soups from participating vendors and vote for their favorite. Attendees will also receive a bottle of water and an Eat’n Park Smiley cookie, with the purchase of a ticket. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free soup options are available. First come, first served. Soup is only available while supplies last. Click here to view the list of vendors and soups.
Pitt Basketball Tickets
January 24 only: Noon
Attention Pitt fans! Tour the ice house with Pitt football players and receive a pair of tickets to the Pitt v. Georgia Tech basketball game on February 5, 2020. Tickets are limited and only available while supplies last.
Do we even need to go on? Between the ice house, soup tasting, and free giveaways, you’re basically making money while building awareness. But seriously, while you’re cooling down with us, consider making a donation to help your neighbors in need. Whether you’re downing bowls of soup, touring the ice house or just have a few extra dollars in your pocket. All donations from this event will receive a dollar-for-dollar match from our partnering utility companies: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, FirstEnergy and Peoples Natural Gas. 100% of all donations and matching funds will be used to provide utility assistance grants to local families in need through Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program.
Visit a kiosk in Market Square during the event to make a cash or credit card donation;
Text COOLDOWN to 41411 to receive a mobile donation link; or
Through the combined effort of 3WS Pittsburgh and our supporters, the Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon raised $109,869 to benefit Dollar Energy Fund and our neighbors in need. The amount raised will provide utility assistance to more than 915 Pittsburgh neighbors during this cold winter.
Our third Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon took place on November 6 and 7, 2019. 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.
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 and we are so grateful for their generosity.
Our third Winter Warm Up Request-A-Thon will take place on November 6 and 7, 2019. 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. 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 6 & 7) and a volunteer will assist you with your donation and submitting a song request.
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 one of the following packages:
Pittsburgh Penguins Package including a Mario Lemieux autographed puck, Sidney Crosby autographed framed print, a $100 gift card to the Pittsburgh Penguins store, and tickets to an upcoming Penguins game. (Courtesy of Total Sports Enterprises)
Pittsburgh Steelers Package including a Troy Polamalu autographed custom jersey, Juju Smith-Schuster autographed replica helmet, a $100 gift card to the Pittsburgh Steelers store, and tickets to an upcoming Steelers game. (Courtesy of Total Sports Enterprises)
Cooking for the Holidays Package including a GE® 30″ Free-Standing Electric Convection Range and a $200 Giant Eagle gift card. (Courtesy of Dormont Appliance)
Seven Springs Package including an overnight stay at Seven Springs and lift tickets for two people.
All Neighborhood Heroes will receive a custom 3WS Christmas Ornament from Wendell August Forge, a delicious farm-raised turkey from Jones Turkey Farm, and a car pass to visit Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland (while supplies last).
The concept is simple: make a donation during the event, make a song 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.
The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is now accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2019-2020 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 may 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 to restore their electric service. Heating assistance is available once per program year on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible account holders may apply through April 30, 2020, 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 $13.9 million in assistance to more than 58,500 customers during this time.
“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 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 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.
For example, a family of four earning up to $64,375 per year is income-eligible for the program. Households must have made payments to AEP Ohio totaling at least $75 in the three months prior to applying for a grant and owe a minimum of $50 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergy.org/need-help/ohio/neighbor-neighbor-program.
“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.
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers. 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 18,000 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 about 5,200 megawatts of renewable generation. 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
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, Connecticut and Indiana. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $155 million in utility assistance grants to over 562,000 limited-income families and individuals.
All donations to the 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.dollarenergy.org.
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, 2019 to April 10, 2020. LIHEAP can offer much needed relief for thousands of people across the state who rely on the service.
On November 1, 2019, the Office of Community Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released approximately $3.32 billion in LIHEAP funds for FY20. The total amount allocated to Pennsylvania is more than $180 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.
On Halloween, it’s likely you have vampires lurking around your home. Not only the kind that ask for treats, but “energy vampires” that suck the money from your wallet. Our home’s appliances and electronics — from coffee makers to TV’s and gaming consoles — often suck up power even when they are not being used. Some products can even consume as much as 25% of their full power when turned off. This wasted energy can contribute to high electric bills.
Be aware of the most common energy vampires:
Most kids keep their video game consoles, like PlayStation and Xbox, always plugged in, making them easily accessible for quick gaming. The scary part is that these consoles are still draining power, even while sleeping.
Toaster & Coffee Maker
Most of us only use our toaster or coffee maker for a few minutes each morning, but we keep it plugged in at all times. Toasters, microwaves, and other small kitchen appliances can quickly add unused energy to your bill and become costly. When you add up all the time your microwave spends in “standby” mode, it actually consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food.
The cable box and DVR are some of the most well-known energy vampires. These boxes are always on to record shows and still operate at nearly full capacity, without providing any benefit. It’s like leaving the lights on in a totally empty house.
Remember, anything with a LED display is a vampire! Alarm clocks, cell phone chargers, as well as space heaters and air conditioning units are still costing you money when unused.
Unused energy can account for 10 percent or more of your electricity bill. Stop energy vampires from taking a bite out of your wallet by taking these steps:
1. Unplug devices you don’t use daily. For instance, check electronics in the guest bedroom or a second fridge in the garage that is rarely used.
2. Unplug devices that are fully charged, such as electric razors and power tools.
3. Unplugging everything is unrealistic. Instead, use smart power strips with on/off switches to easily turn groups of electronics off when not in use, effectively reducing unnecessary electricity consumption and saving money. This is an inexpensive and easy solution. When you’re ready, turn the power strip on and all your appliances are ready to go!
4. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics, which are vampire-proof. ENERGY STAR has made it their mission to cut standby power consumption in its products and use less energy all around.
Dollar Energy Fund’s Topgolf Fundraiser raised $14,770, 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 50 households who are struggling to stay warm this winter.
We welcomed 80 golfers to Topgolf Pittsburgh in Bridgeville, PA on Thursday, October 24, 2019. 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 bid in the online silent auction. All golfers went home with their own bottle of wine from VentiSei Winery.
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. You can always support your neighbors in need by making a donation at dollarenergy.org.