By: Charlotte R. Lain, WVPSC Chairman
‘Tis the Season
The holiday season has come and gone now. Unfortunately, for many that only adds to the burden of trying to make ends meet in this difficult economy.
Many of us like to make charitable contributions this time of year to benefit the less fortunate. Should you be so inclined, I would like you to consider a contribution to the Dollar Energy Fund.
Dollar Energy Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 in Pennsylvania to provide assistance to those struggling to afford their gas, water and electric bills.
In 2008, Dollar Energy Fund expanded its services and established the West Virginia Utility Assistance Program to provide comprehensive utility assistance to low-income West Virginians.
Dollar Energy assists limited-income customers with their gas, electric and water bills. Eligible customers receive a one-time grant applied directly to their utility bill.
The program is a fund of last resort as it goes above and beyond what is available through federal, state and other programs by providing grants to qualified customers on a first come, first serve basis while funding is available.
Participating utility companies include Appalachian and Wheeling Power companies, Hope Gas, Mon Power, Potomac Edison, Mountaineer Gas, Peoples Gas Co. and West Virginia American Water.
Over the last 15 years, the program has provided $30 million in utility assistance to more than 95,000 West Virginia households. The need for utility assistance continues to grow.
According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, the average household will pay about 17 percent more this winter to heat their property.
Currently, more than 20 million families are behind on their utility bills and 20 percent of U.S. households have missed or made a late payment on their utility bill in the last month.
The efforts of Dollar Energy would not be possible without individual donations.
Those wishing to make a donation can do so by adding a dollar or more to their monthly utility payment by checking the box on your bill, visiting www.dollarenergy.org/donate and submitting a donation online via credit card or mailing a gift to P. O. Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.
All donations receive a dollar-for-dollar match by Dollar Energy Fund’s utility partners, doubling the impact of each contribution.
All donations coming from West Virginians are used to provide utility assistance grants for West Virginians.