This month, the rise of heating oil price caused concerns in Pennsylvania. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania’s Universal Services Manager Deb Davis took to the airwaves to reassure worried households having trouble keeping up with winter heating bills that “at Columbia Gas, we want our customers to be safe and warm this winter, which is why we want our customers to know about the availability of LIHEAP assistance.  As a natural gas utility, we are committed to providing our most vulnerable customers with resources like LIHEAP to help with their heating bills. If you or someone you know may be struggling to pay their heating bills, please apply for a LIHEAP grant as soon as possible.”


Down the East Coast in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Social Services’ (VDSS) was ramping up its own overtime operation to take care of families fighting winter weather that VDSS Commissioner Duke Storen correctly described as “often relentless during the winter months, and this year is no different.  No Virginian should have to endure freezing temperatures without heat.  The Crisis Assistance program exists to help households who otherwise would not have the resources to overcome energy emergencies, keep warm and thrive. We encourage individuals and families to submit an application for consideration as soon as possible.”

The same story was true across the country in Washington State, where Whitman County’s Community Action Center (CAC) held a sign-up event at Neill Public Library with wide-open arms in the hopes of reaching the widest number of households needing help possible, so much so that CAC Energy Assistant Specialist Hannah Domreis offered residents in need that they could “just call in and we will contact Avista and they will turn you back on.  That program is really cool because it doesn’t have the same type of income guidelines. It’s for anyone that needs the help…It’s for helping folks out with those heating bills.  We have about five different programs we can pull (funds) from.  During this time of year, it gets real cold out here and those heating bills skyrocket. You try to keep your home warm but also keep it efficient.  This gives them a little bit of peace of mind. They’ll be able to keep their house warm, their lights on, and free up some of that money.”