Dollar Energy Fund Utility Assistance Grants for Gas, Electric and Water Now Available
Hardship Program Expected to Provide Assistance to Over 10,000 Low-Income Families
Pittsburgh, October 1, 2009 - Dollar Energy Fund, Pennsylvania's largest hardship fund, will begin providing utility assistance grants for the 2009-2010 heating season on Thursday, October 1st. Low-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," says Cindy Datig, Dollar Energy Fund's chief executive officer. "Many are struggling to make ends meet and just need a little bit of temporary help."
Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund has helped families 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 13,300 households restore or maintain utility service. This assistance impacted more than 40,500 adults, seniors and children across the state," added Datig. "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 13 utility companies across Pennsylvania to administer the Hardship Program. The organization is funded by public 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," says Datig.
The organization's network of 160 Community Based Organizations will begin taking Hardship Program applications beginning on October 1st. Applications will continue to be accepted until funds are depleted. A family of four earning up to $44,100 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 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. 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.