Home Energy Assistance Application Period Opens Today

For Release:
October 11, 2011
Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 768-6410
(804) 512-1425 - cellular
rinnes@nisource.com

Home Energy Assistance Application Period Opens Today

Chester, VA – October 11, 2011 – The application period for Virginia residents seeking energy assistance for the upcoming winter through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) opens today (October 11) and continues through November.14, 2011. The Virginia Department of Social Services administers the LIHEAP program through the Virginia Energy Assistance program, so eligible consumers can make applications at their local Department of Social Services office.

Eligibility requirements and local office locations can be found at www.dss.state.va.us/benefit/ea or calling 2-1-1. Customers can also call the Columbia Gas of Virginia Energy Assistance Hotline at 1.800.272.2714 for assistance support or log on to www.columbiagasva.com to find the local Department of Social Services offices. Since the application period closes on November 14, it is important that Virginia residents who are eligible and believe they may need assistance at any point this winter apply before that date.

“It is important that customers take this step now to be able to take advantage of energy assistance funds later in the winter. In addition, we urge any of our customers who are facing difficulty in making payments contact us early as possible, so that we can direct them to payment options, our WarmWise energy efficiency program and other assistance resources,” said Carl W. Levander, president of Columbia Gas of Virginia. “There are less available assistance funds available this winter and it is important to apply for assistance prior to the November 14 cutoff date.” 

Virginia Fuel Assistance Eligibility Criteria
Must be at or below 130% of the Federal Income Guidelines.
Family  Size Monthly Income      Annual Income
1             $1,180                         $14,157
2             $1,594                         $19,123
3             $2,008                         $24,089
4             $2,422                         $29,055
5             $2,836                         $34,021
Families of more than (5) add $414/monthly or $4,966/year for each additional family member. The Fuel Assistance Program in Virginia is based on need.

For more information on bill payment options, energy assistance and other information please go to www.columbiagasva.com, click on Manage Your Account or call Columbia Gas of Virginia’s Customer Contact Center at 1-800-543-8911.