PITTSBURGH, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
About Dollar Energy Fund, Inc.
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 $60 million in utility assistance grants to more than 250,000 low-income families and individuals. The organization also assists low-income households in West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland. Individuals interested in contributing to Dollar Energy Fund can do so through their utility bills, by sending donations directly to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 or through the organization's website. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund's website, www.dollarenergyfund.org.
SOURCE Dollar Energy Fund