BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — For millions of people across the country, affording increasing utility bills can be a challenge. Dollar Energy Fund offers a West Virginia Utility Assistance Program and the window for applications started October 1, 2021.

The grant provides extra funding for gas, water and electric utility bills. Families can apply if they are facing an immediate utility crisis and that money is applied directly to their account. In Beckley, the Salvation Army helps act as an agency between the customer and grant program.

“We see people, several a week, that come in for this program and I mean if you are struggling, that $300 assistance is going to keep your utilities on for another month is a huge help,” Rebecca Mott, Major at the Salvation Army, said.

The application process is carried out through a case worker at the Salvation Army. Program eligibility includes customers of Appalachian Power Company that are at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. Customers of Peoples and West Virginia American Water with incomes at or below 200 percent of federal guidelines are also eligible.

The ultimate goal of the utility assistance program is to help families keep their lights on in West Virginia.

Mott said in order to qualify, customers need to prove they have made a consistent and sincere effort to pay their utility bills. Interested customers can contact the Salvation Army and talk to their case worker to see if they’re eligible. Mott said the opportunity to help people is one she is grateful for.

“We hate to see anyone hurting and this is just another pathway that we have to help families stay stable and strong,” Mott said.

People interested in applying for utility assistance can call the Salvation Army in Beckley.