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VA Utility Offers $2 Million in Matching Funds

October 18, 2011 -- Dominion Virginia Power announced last week  that it will contribute up to $2 million in matching funds to its EnergyShare program for this heating season.

EnergyShare, which begins its 30th season this winter, provides financial assistance to individuals and families that have trouble paying their heating and cooling bills. It receives funding from customers of Dominion and other energy companies, including Virginia Natural Gas and Columbia Gas of Virginia, as well as from the companies themselves.

Dominion pledged to match donations from its customers, up to $2 million. EnergyShare applicants may receive a one-time payment up to $600 per heating season. Qualifications include income level, risk of disconnection or personal circumstances such as unemployment. For information, consumers can call (866) 366-4357 or visit Dominion's website.

Dominion customers can contribute by adding set amounts to their monthly electricity bills or by sending a separate check with their payments. Dominion also said it will make an additional $1 donation to EnergyShare for each customer who signs up for its electronic billing program.

Separately, the federal LIHEAP, which also helps consumers pay heating bills, began taking applications from Virginians on October 11 and will continue through November 14. The state Department of Social Services administers the federal program.

Those interested in assistance can apply through their local social services office. To qualify, a household must be at or below 130 percent of federal income guidelines. A family of four, for example, must have annual income at or below $29,055.

More information is available at or by calling 211, the state social services hotline.

Source: Virginia Pilot