Utility Bill Assistance



Assistance from the Neighbor to Neighbor Fund in Tennessee

Thousands of people across the state are behind on their utility bills. The Tennessee Neighbor-to-Neighbor fund has been in existence since 1976, and it will help pay the utility bills of low and moderate income residents who live in Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The program is administered by Dollar Energy, and the primary goal is to help pay electric bills for low income customers in the company's Tennessee territory. The APCO program works by collecting contributions from its local customer base and businesses, and all the funds donated go into an assistance fund that is used to help others pay their power bills in times of need or financial hardship.

The program was improved and overhauled in 2009. Some of the improvements made include partnering with local charities as well as the nonprofit heating assistance group Dollar Energy Fund. Dollar Energy Fund runs many assistance programs for utility and gas companies in other states, and they have the expertise to help administer the donated money to both elderly and low-income households year round instead of just during the cold winter months. So people can apply for assistance anytime of the year.

Over 80,000 customers across Tennessee have been served by Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund since the program’s inception. In total, these people have received approximately $5.4 million in contributions from both customers, business and American Electric Power shareholders, according to the company officials.

People have other options as well. For example, Appalachian Power also offers an average monthly payment plan so customers can in effect balance their bills, or “shave off”, the higher utility bills that accompany high electric consumption months. So their payments can be level set.

Contact your utility or gas company and ask about the Neighbor to Neighbor fund.