Use, contribute to power resources

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

With record low temperatures and wind chills having overtaken all but a few days of 2018 so far, it’s a pretty safe bet that most folks in the area will be shocked when they get their next electric bill.

Dominion Energy customers set a record on Jan. 6 for the highest demand in a 24-hour period. The following day quickly became the second-highest on record.

It might seem obvious, but colder temperatures make your heating system work harder to keep your home at the same temperature. Some folks may have even found themselves nudging the thermostat up as they and their families hunkered down for days on end.

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Fortunately, help is available, and those who aren’t on a budget payment plan and don’t have the money saved up to cover a large bill can get some help.

Customers can call 866-DOM-HELP or access their account online to request payment extensions, long-term payment plans and bill payment assistance.

Another Dominion program, EnergyShare, is an assistance program for those facing financial hardship due to unemployment or family crisis. Dominion and its employees regularly contribute to the fund, and customers can also contribute through the website.

Community Electric Cooperative also can make payment arrangements with its customers to help them with the large bills that will inevitably result from the cold weather.

So, if you encounter a bill you can’t pay, know that there are resources out there to help you get back on track. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to pay your bill with a few dollars to spare, consider making a donation to EnergyShare. It is a good way to directly impact those in need in your community and keep them from a downward financial spiral from which it is difficult to escape.