Energy, fan assistance available

Published 6:14 pm Saturday, July 4, 2009

The elderly and those in need will find relief from the summer heat through Dominion Virginia Power’s EnergyShare assistance program. Applications are being accepted for the year-round program, which helps eligible individuals pay their summer and winter energy bills.

Fan Care, which also is a component of EnergyShare, will continue to provide fans to eligible seniors.

To qualify for EnergyShare cooling assistance, an individual must meet at least one of the following criteria:

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Have received a disconnection notice (not required for those over 60 years of age)

Have exhausted all other available sources of fuel assistance

Demonstrate a personal or family crisis

Be income-eligible

“EnergyShare has been helping those in need for 27 years,” said Paul D. Koonce, chief executive officer of Dominion Virginia Power. “The heat can have serious health effects on the elderly and those who struggle to stay cool in their homes. EnergyShare helps to meet their needs.”

More than $1.2 million helped nearly 6,000 families pay their cooling bills last year.

A qualified individual can receive a one-time maximum payment of up to $300. The program runs through Sept. 30. Local health and human service agencies administer the program. For more information, individuals should contact Dominion’s Customer Service Center at 1-888-667-3000.

Fan Care, now in its 19th year, also assists seniors in Virginia with cooling their homes. Dominion is again partnering with Wal-Mart and the Virginia Department for the Aging to provide free fans to qualified individuals who live in the company’s service area. Fan Care is funded by an annual grant of $50,000 from Dominion.

Local Area Agencies on Aging administer Fan Care by screening applicants and distributing the fans. To be eligible, an individual must:

Live in Virginia

Be 60 or older

Have a need for cooling assistance

Meet income guidelines defined by the Area Agencies on Aging

Those eligible can receive one fan per cooling season. The program will run through Sept. 30 or as long as funds are available. To inquire about eligibility, contact the Virginia Department for the Aging at 1-800-552-3402.

Dominion customers can contribute to EnergyShare by adding an extra $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25 or $35 monthly to their Dominion Virginia Power bills or by including a separate check with their payments for any amount. All contributions are tax deductible and can be mailed to EnergyShare, P.O. Box 11186, Richmond, Va. 23230-1186.