VDSS accepting applications for cooling assistance


VIRGINIA (WDVM) — As the heat continues to rise, so do electric bills, but certain Virginia residents may qualify for financial assistance.

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will be providing qualifying households with cooling assistance. Denise Surber from the VDSS says it’s a yearly initiative during the summer months.

“We encourage anyone who needs the service to apply just because of the fact that it is something that can assist so many households each year,” said Surber.

Residents may submit an application to apply, but there are certain criteria to qualify for the assistance.

Types of assistance include:

  • Payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment
  • Payment of security deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment
  • Repair of a central air conditioning system or heat pump
  • Purchase of a whole-house fan, including ceiling or attic fans
  • Purchase and installation of a window unit air conditioner

The Energy Assistance Program is federally funded by the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program block grant. The service provides funding to assist families with individual cooling needs.

“We can offer assistance with paying on an electric bill to operate cooling equipment, we can also purchase cooling equipment, such as a fan or air conditioner. We can also provide services with repair,” said Surber.

This year’s benefit will provide $400 to help Virginians pay for their electric bill. That’s just one of the reasons why Surber is proud to be a part of the program.

“It really feels good when you know that your program has been able to help someone, and has made a difference in their life,” she said.

Last year, the Energy Assistance Program provided 67,000 households with cooling assistance. Learn more about the program at their website.

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