There are several programs that provide utility bill assistance and help with heating and electric bills in Virginia.
The Energy Assistance Program will help households (particularly lower income households or those facing a financial hardship) that pay a high proportion of their household income for home electricity. The assistance program is made up of of four components:
Fuel Assistance - Provides help with heating bills. The purpose of Fuel Assistance is to help households with the high cost of home heating bills. The program is designed to help offset heating expenses rather than to pay all of the heating bill. Submit an application to your local Virginia department of social services. Read more.
Crisis Assistance - Program that helps with utility bills when the Fuels Assistance program as well as other resources do not meet the need. The help provided is intended for emergency situations. The crisis assistance program helps homeowners when the Fuel Assistance or other available resources can’t meet their need. Some examples of assistance that may qualify as an emergency include: utility cutoff, lack of heat, and unsafe or inoperable heating equipment.
Cooling Assistance - This will helps with cooling emergencies resulting from high summertime heat. To be eligible for Cooling Assistance, an income level must meet the programs guideline. Also, the applicant must have at least one vulnerable person and there must be a need for cooling help. The following types of assistance are provided to help with bills: replace or purchase, as well as install an air conditioner; repair a heat pump or AC unit, payment of an electric security deposit; help with payment of an electric bill to help operate the cooling equipment.
Weatherization Assistance - Provides assistance with energy efficiency and air infiltration, in an effort to help Virginia residents lower utility bills. You can reduce your utility bills by an estimated several hundred dollars per month. Learn more.
American Electric Power - Neighbor-to-Neighbor is paid for by donations, and funds or cash grants may be offered in a crisis.
Appalachian Power - This company also offers The Neighbor to Neighbor Program, which is administered by the Dollar Energy Fund. Continue.
Dominion Virginia Power, Virginia Natural Gas, Harrisonburg Electric Commission participate in this assistance program. It was created in 1983 to help low-income households pay any type of heating bill.
Washington Gas - Washington Area Fuel Fund assists those in need with paying heating and utility bills. It is available in northern Virginia and uses donations to help struggling families. More information.
Atmos Energy - Sharing the Warmth is a program that helps provide those in need short term financial aid in an effort to pay gas bills. Donations are used to help lower income Atmos customers in Virginia. Read more.
City of Charlottesville - The Gas Assistance Program offers payments for lower income families to help those struggling pay their utility and gas bills.
Columbia Gas of Virginia - Has a program called Heatshare, which will provide assistance with heating and natural gas bills. Read more.
Dominion Virginia Power - Provides free fans to elderly customers. Click here to find additional assistance programs.
Low Income Energy Assistance - This is funded by the federal government, and is known as LIHEAP. Very low income families, with a focus on seniors and children, can qualify for assistance for their utility bills. Other aid offered may include fans or air conditioners. More Virginia LIHEAP.
Virginia Natural Gas - This utility provider offers customers several assistance programs, and partners closely with local county social service offices as well as community action agencies. Services include weatherization and crisis assistance for paying gas and energy bills. Read more Virginia Natural Gas assistance programs and who to call for help.