Dollar Energy Fund began providing utility assistance grants for the 2012-2013 heating season on Oct. 1. Limited income households throughout the state will be able to apply for utility assistance for gas, electric and water bills.
"Times are tough for many of our neighbors right now," said Danielle Snidow, Dollar Energy Fund's state director. "Many West Virginia senior citizens and families are struggling to make ends meet and just need a little bit of temporary help."
Since 2008, Dollar Energy Fund has helped over 17,000 West Virginia households maintain or restore basic gas, electric and water utility service by providing assistance grants applied directly to their utility bills.
"Last year, we helped over 4,000 households restore or maintain utility service. This assistance impacted more than 12,000 adults, seniors and children across the state," Snidow said. "Many of these families were asking for help for the first time due to unemployment or other issues that affected their household budget."
Dollar Energy Fund partners with six utility companies across West Virginia to administer the Hardship Program. The organization is funded by private contributions matched dollar for dollar by utility companies.
"Dollar Energy Fund's success is built from neighbors helping neighbors and we hope those that can, will pitch in to assist people who have made a sincere effort to pay their utility bills, but are truly in need," said Snidow.
The organization's network of more than 80 Community Based Organizations will began taking Hardship Program applications on Oct. 1. Applications will continue to be accepted until funds are depleted. A family of four earning up to $34,575 per year is income eligible for the program. To qualify, households must have made a sincere effort of payment on their utility bill in the last 90 days and have a back balance. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergyfund.org.
Utility customers are able to contribute a dollar or more to the Dollar Energy Fund through their monthly utility bill. Direct donations can also be made online at www.dollarenergyfund.org or by sending a check to Box 3979, Charleston, WV 25339. All donations to the Dollar Energy Fund are tax deductible and will be matched by partnering utility companies.
For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply to the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergyfund.org.
Dollar Energy Fund was founded in 1983 and has grown to become the largest hardship fund in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization in the state of Pennsylvania. Since 1983, the organization has provided over $92 million in utility assistance grants to more than 320,000 limited income families and individuals. The organization also assists limited income households in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana.
Individuals interested in contributing to Dollar Energy Fund can do so through their utility bills, by sending donations directly to Box 3979, Charleston, WV 25339 or through the organization's website. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund's website, www.dollarenergyfund.org.