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Saturday, May 25, 2024

You might be eligible for a heating assistance program this winter

(HNNDaily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(HNNDaily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

The colder weather is on its way and some household budgets may be unable to keep up with the demands of using more energy to heat their homes.

Virginia Natural Gas wants to help its customers better prepare for this year’s heating season by reminding those who may be eligible for financial assistance of programs available that could help offset winter heating costs.

General enrollment for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program began Tuesday and continues through Nov. 9.

The federal- and state-funded energy assistance program helps low- and fixed-income families, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities, meet their energy needs during the winter heating season.

Eligible customers’ monthly gross income may not exceed $2,720, or about $32,630 annually for a family of four.

In Virginia, LIHEAP is administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Applications can be submitted online at or at local departments of social services, from the second Tuesday in October through the second Friday in November.

For information or to find a local department of social services, call 211.

Other energy assistance programs available to Virginia Natural Gas customers are:

  • EnergyShare is a supplemental program that provides a one-time annual grant to qualified residential customers. The program is administered by the Salvation Army and funded through direct contributions from Virginia Natural Gas employees and customers who can make donations via their monthly natural gas bill payment. To apply for the grant, customers can contact their local Salvation Army to schedule an appointment, or call the EnergyShare hotline at 757-965-9012, ext. 1, for more information.
  • Virginia Natural Gas Budget Plan provides a convenient way for customers to plan for and pay their monthly natural gas bill. The plan evens out the highs and lows of natural gas costs throughout the year by allowing customers to pay a consistent amount every month for a 12-month period, making household budgeting a little easier. The Budget Plan is a free service for Virginia Natural Gas customers, to learn more call 866-229-3578.
  • The energySMART program helps customers manage their costs by lowering out-of-pocket expenses for energy efficiency improvements through rebates and free home energy assessments and energy saving products. For more energy-saving tips visit

For more information about each of these programs or help managing energy costs, click here.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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