Dominion offers cooling help for 30th year

Published 7:30 pm Saturday, July 2, 2011

As the summer heats up, Dominion Virginia Power is hoping to cool it down by providing $2 million to help its customers struggling to pay for their electric bill.

This is the 30th year Dominion has offered the funding as part of its EnergyShare program.

With EnergyShare, people who have had their electricity cut off or received notice it will be shut off can apply for up to $300 to help them pay their bills.

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Spokeswoman Bonita Harris said the program allows Dominion to help its customers with financial problems keep their homes cool in the extreme heat.

“They find themselves in situations where they need help, and we want to be there for them,” she said. “We know that in the summertime heat is not only uncomfortable, it’s also a health risk.”

EnergyShare also helps people heat their homes during the winter.

Last year, the program helped more than 8,000 families with their energy bills.

To qualify for EnergyShare, a person must have exhausted all other cooling assistance resources, have a personal or family crisis or be income-eligible.

However, people 60 or older do not have to meet the requirements to receive assistance.

Dominion is accepting applications until Sept. 30, when cooling season ends.

However, Harris advises people to apply as soon as possible because the program runs only as long as the funds are available.

“It’s first-come, first-served as funds are available,” she said.

Along with $2 million the company is providing, Dominion customers are invited to donate money to the program by adding to their bills.

Customers can add an extra $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25 or $35 to their monthly bill, and it will be added to the EnergyShare funds.

Also, people can mail a separate check for any amount with their bills.

“We do whatever we can to contribute, but our customers do a great job to add to their bills to give to people who are not as fortunate,” Harris said.

In addition to EnergyShare, Dominion is partnering with the Virginia Department for the Aging for its Fan Care program, which provides fans for seniors to help them cool their homes.

Using a $50,000 grant from Dominion, local aging agencies select eligible seniors to receive one fan during the summer.

For more information on EnergyShare, call 1-866-366-4357 or visit

For more information about Fan Care, visit