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NOVEC and Virginia offer programs that will help low-income people stay warm this winter

October 08, 2014

Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500, customerservice@novec.com

MANASSAS, Va. —The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and the Virginia Department of Social Services are offering programs that will help low-income Virginians stay warm this winter. NOVEC encourages its customer-owners to participate in Operation Round Up®(ORU), which provides heating assistance to qualified recipients, and the Co-op encourages low-income people to apply for fuel assistance between Oct. 14 and Nov. 14 through VDSS's Energy Assistance Program.

"Last winter was brutal," states Mike Curtis, NOVEC vice president, public relations. "Many people had trouble paying their heating bills after two polar vortices stretched down from the Arctic into the Midwest, South and East. We're hoping this winter won't be as cold, but we're still urging Co-op members to help low-income people by participating in ORU."

By participating in ORU, NOVEC customers agree to have their monthly bills rounded up to the nearest dollar. For example, if a bill is $89.54, NOVEC will round it up to $90 and put the extra 46¢ in the ORU fund. Customers who participate donate approximately $6 a year. Because NOVEC absorbs all administration costs, 100 percent of all donations go into the fund.

How to Participate in Operation Round Up®

NOVEC customers may join ORU online at www.novec.com/community; select Operation Round Up®.Or they may call Customer Service, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 703-335-0500 or toll-free: 1-888-335-0500.

Anyone who is not a Co-op member, but would like to donate to ORU, may send a check in any amount, payable to NOVEC Operation Round Up, to: NOVEC, P.O. Box 2710, Manassas, VA 20108.

How ORU Helps People Stay Warm

After receiving donations, the ORU board, composed of NOVEC customer-owners, sends donations to:

  • The Salvation Army, Loudoun County
  • The Salvation Army, Fairfax County
  • Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Prince William County
  • SERVE, a program of Northern Virginia Family Service,Prince William County
  • SERVE, Inc., Stafford County
  • Fauquier Family Shelter Services, Fauquier County
These organizations distribute funds to low-income people who qualify for assistance.

Virginia Department of Social Services' Energy Assistance Program
Applications for fuel assistance from the VDSS's Energy Assistance Program (EAP) will be accepted from Oct. 14 through Nov. 14. The program assists with various types of heating sources, including electricity, natural and liquid propane gas, oil, kerosene, coal, and wood.  A federal block grant from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds EAP. For more information on the EAP visit www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi.  

Families and individuals can apply for assistance online at https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/access or at their local department of social services office, www.dss.virginia.gov/localagency. Applications can be printed from www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi, or an applicant can request that the local department mail an application. Applications can be submitted online or by mail, fax, or in person at a local department of social services. 

To qualify for fuel assistance, the maximum gross monthly income for a one-person household cannot exceed $1,265. For a household of four, the maximum gross monthly income is $2,584. VDSS Information and Referral Services, 2-1-1 VIRGINIA, can be contacted for information on many community partners, community action agencies, and non-profit organizations across the Commonwealth that may help meet the financial needs of Virginia citizens. Find out more at www.211virginia.org or by dialing '211' on the telephone.

NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a not-for-profit electric utility corporation that supplies and distributes electricity and energy-related services to approximately 160,000 metered customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the Town of Clifton, and the City of Manassas Park. It is one of the largest electric companies of its kind in the nation.  For more information, visit www.novec.com or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.

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