Dominion Asks Customers to Help Ensure Seniors Are Safe During Extremely Hot Weather

- EnergyShare, state cooling assistance program available for qualifying seniors

- Seniors advised to stay in cooler surroundings as much as possible

Jul 19, 2010
10:19am

RICHMOND, Va., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer temperatures continue to sizzle, Dominion Virginia Power is encouraging customers to make sure elderly friends, family members and neighbors are not being overwhelmed by a buildup of heat in their homes and apartments.

The company recommends taking the following steps:

  • Regularly check on elderly or ill family and friends who might need assistance during the heat.
  • If you are elderly and do not have air conditioning, do not hesitate to seek help if you feel ill from the heat.
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids throughout the day and do not wear heavy clothing.  Avoid going outside or any strenuous activity during the heat of the day.
  • Spend as much time as you can in cooler surroundings, such as the coolest room in your home, an air-conditioned store or mall, senior center or library.
  • Bathe and shower to get relief from the heat.  Cool water removes body heat 25 times faster than cool air.

Heat can build up to unhealthy levels in homes and apartments without air-conditioning.  Seniors, especially those with heart and other serious health conditions, may become dehydrated or suffer other heat-related illnesses that can be serious or even life-threatening.

For eligible seniors who may be having difficulty paying an energy bill, Dominion Virginia Power and the Commonwealth of Virginia offer a number of programs, including EnergyShare, Fan Care and the Virginia Cooling Assistance program, to assist them.

Dominion Virginia Power's toll-free customer service number is 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).  The company is committed to working with customers and will explore all options available.

To qualify for EnergyShare cooling assistance, an individual must have received a disconnection notice (not required for those over 60 years of age) and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have exhausted all other available sources of cooling assistance;
  • Demonstrate a personal or family crisis; or
  • Be income-eligible.

A qualified individual can receive a one-time maximum payment of up to $300.  The program runs through Oct. 29.  Local health and human service agencies administer the program.  For more information, individuals should contact Dominion's Customer Service Center at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

Fan Care, now in its 20th year, also assists seniors in Virginia with cooling their homes. Dominion is again partnering with 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.  Those eligible can receive one fan per cooling season.  The program will run through Sept. 30.  To inquire about eligibility, contact the Virginia Department for the Aging at 1-800-552-3402.

Dominion also offers two additional programs designed to help friends and relatives help those who are having trouble paying an electric bill:

  • Dominion's gift certificate program enables relatives, friends and clergy, for example, to help customers pay all or part of their electric bill. More information is available online at www.dom.com, keyword "Gift Certificate."
  • Dominion's Third-Party Notification program allows customers to designate a relative, friend, clergy member or social service agency to be notified in the event the customer is in jeopardy of having service disconnected for nonpayment. Go to www.dom.com and use keyword "Third Party" for more information.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

Follow us on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/DomVAPower

SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power


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