Dominion's Heating Assistance Program Accepting Applications; Company Kicks in $500,000

CLEVELAND, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Local Ohio Salvation Army offices are now accepting applications for EnergyShare, Dominion's heating assistance program aimed at helping individuals and families in need stay warm during the cold winter months. To give the program a boost, Dominion is kicking in $500,000 and accepting applications a month earlier than usual.

The program is a last resort safety net to help needy customers heat their homes after all other forms of assistance have been exhausted.  Typically, EnergyShare begins accepting applications in January, but due to increased customer need for utility assistance, the program will kick off today, December 1. Dominion discussed the need for the additional assistance with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which urged the company to make the funds available to customers sooner this winter.

To qualify for EnergyShare assistance, a person must live in the Dominion service area and be in danger of losing an important source of heat. A recipient must have a household income no higher than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, be unemployed or demonstrate a personal or family crisis. To ensure the widest possible distribution of EnergyShare assistance, eligible persons can receive only one payment of up to $500 per heating season.

Dominion works with local Salvation Army offices to help eligible participants. Every dollar contributed to this fund goes to pay heating bills regardless of the type of fuel used. EnergyShare is supported by donations from Dominion customers, employees and EnergyShare partners.  Dominion covers the program's administrative costs, allowing all donations to go toward paying heating bills. Local Salvation Army offices in the Dominion service area accept the applications for EnergyShare assistance and administer distribution of the funds. Payments go directly to the energy vendor on behalf of the recipient. Last winter, more than 2,300 families were helped through EnergyShare donations of more than $565,000.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at

SOURCE Dominion East Ohio