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W.Va. utility assistance program now open

 Dollar Energy Fund’s West Virginia Utility Assistance Program is now open for the 2021-22 program year and will  accept applications from limited-income customers who need assistance with their gas, water and electric utility bills.

The program provides grants to households facing an immediate utility crisis and funding is applied directly to their utility account to prevent a termination or to restore their service.

“We encourage those who are having difficulty paying their utility bills to reach out for help as soon as possible to see if they qualify for assistance through the West Virginia Utility Assistance Program,” said Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s chief executive officer. “We know that many households are still struggling financially due to COVID-related issues, and with the winter heating season approaching, we hope those in need of assistance can utilize a grant from our program to ensure they maintain safe utility service during the coldest months.”

Those seeking help should first contact their utility company for eligibility screening and to be referred to a community-based agency to complete an application for the program. This approach connects households with additional services that may also be available to limited-income households, such as food, childcare and career assistance.

Program eligibility includes customers of MonPower and Potomac Edison of FirstEnergy, Dominion Energy West Virginia, Appalachian Power Company and Mountaineer Gas with incomes that are at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines, and customer of Peoples and West Virginia American Water with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal guidelines. Each household may apply once per utility (water, electric, and gas), per year between Oct. 1,  and Sept. 30, 2022, to avoid termination or to have their utility service restored.

In addition to meeting income guidelines, households may have needed to make a sincere effort of payment on their utility bill in the last three months and have a balance on their account. Households must first apply for available federal and state assistance if they are income eligible. Specific requirements, account balances and sincere payment amounts vary by utility company and guidelines are subject to change. Some utility companies require a customer’s service to be off or in threat of termination to receive assistance.

Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at help/westvirginia.

Dollar Energy Fund’s West Virginia Utility Assistance Program was established in 2008 and has helped more than 93,200 households statewide maintain or restore basic gas, electric and water utility service by providing a total of $27.8 million in assistance grants. Since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s hardship grants have helped more than 758,500 families maintain or restore safe utility services across all states served by the organization.

Dollar Energy Fund is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar for dollar by partnering utility companies. Utility customers are also able to contribute a dollar or more to Dollar Energy Fund through their monthly utility bill. Direct donations can be made online at or by sending a check to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every donation to Dollar Energy Fund’s West Virginia Utility Assistance Program is tax deductible and all funds collected from West Virginia donors are used to assist limited-income families residing in the Mountain State.

Additional support from the utility companies allows for 100% of all donations and matching funds to be used as assistance grants to help households in need.

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for a grant from the West Virginia Utility Assistance Program, or to make a donation to the organization, visit

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