Dollar Energy Fund reaches milestone of 500,000 grants
Posted on: April 7, 2017
Dollar Energy Fund has reached a major milestone by distributing 500,000 utility assistance grants since its inception in 1983. That’s half a million households across the country that didn’t have to go without heat, electric or water.
Our organization has evolved from a small passionate group of people with the determination to help others, to become the largest hardship fund in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the United States. We have served the limited-income community for more than 34 years by providing over $139 million in utility assistance grants to families and individuals.
We value our partnerships and the help of our donors, utility partners, community-based organizations and staff. The demand for assistance from our program has grown significantly due to increased costs of everyday living expenses, changing weather conditions and the recent unpredictability of government programs.
Dollar Energy Fund relies heavily 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. Dollar Energy Fund also partners with more than 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.
Likewise, we owe our success to the hard work of our staff. Dollar Energy Fund currently has a workforce of 153, including 105 full-time employees and 48 contract/temporary workers. Eight of our employees work out of the West Penn Power facility in Greensburg, PA, running West Penn Power weatherization programs.
Due to recent program and staff growth, we continue to expand our call center. The next expansion, to begin later in April, will provide us with room to accommodate 40 additional customer service representatives. Our IT department is also working on initiatives that will shorten call times and simplify the application process for customers needing assistance.
Dollar Energy Fund continues to acquire new partners with the hopes of assisting more people who are struggling to afford their utility bills. Most recently, we partnered with The Clairton Municipal Authority to establish an assistance program for customers who are in threat of termination or who have had their water service disconnected as a result of non-payment of their sewage bills. This new hardship program will begin in the next few weeks.
Our staff is also in the process of developing unique fundraising and business development opportunities with our new and existing utility partners to raise more funds and expand our service territory.
Distributing half a million grants is a major milestone, but we know there are more families and individuals out there who need our help. If you have the means to support our mission, please visit www.dollarenergy.org/donate and help your neighbors in need today.