Cooling bill assistance in Fairfax Virginia.
Fans and cooling bill assistance is offered by the Fairfax County Department of Family Services. While there is a formal application process in place, the resources that can be made available provide an effective solution to people having trouble affording their air-conditioning expenses, or paying their electric bills during the summer.
The Cooling Assistance Program can help qualified low income customers pay their electric bills, including those from Dominion Power. This resource is critical during the extreme summer heat, as if someone has their electricity disconnected that can even lead to a medical hardship. Some of the assistance offered during the summer includes:
- Payment of reconnection fees or security deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment, including air conditioners.
- Funds for electricity and utility bills.
- The Department of Family Services can pay for attic or whole-house fans, including a ceiling unit.
- Receive assistance for the tune up or maintenance of a heat pump or central air conditioning system.
- The Fairfax Cooling Assistance Program can provide for the purchase and installation of a window unit air conditioner for households without a working unit.
There are various qualifications that need to be met, and they include the following.
- Applicants need to meet monthly income restrictions. While it will vary based on the number of people in the household, it ranges from around $2500 per month for a family of four and increases from there.
- Applicants also need to live in a household with an adult age 60 or older or a child under 6 years old. Or the Fairfax Virginia family needs to have a person with disabilities.
Federal government money from LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance) is provided to the Virginia Department of Social Services and their Cooling Assistance Program, and this government money is used to pay the expenses.
The social service organization will focus on citizens and low income families who are most at risk and vulnerable. Help is offered for those who simply cannot afford to buy a fan, or who can’t afford to pay their electric bill or perhaps repair an air conditioner unit. Financial assistance and cash grants are available until funds are depleted. Some applicants of the county may be eligible for more than one type of assistance from the county. So people may be able to receive a free fan and also cash for paying their cooling bills.
Virginia can experience extreme heat and humidity, and during the hot summer months, indoor temperatures can quickly reach the same levels as outdoors. This can lead to life threatening conditions for the most vulnerable among us.
There are several social service offices in Fairfax County that people can apply at. They are
- Falls Church Virginia - 6245 Leesburg Pike (Route 7), 2nd floor
- Fairfax - Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, 2nd floor
- Reston - Lake Anne Office Building, 11484 Washington Plaza West, 4th floor
- Or South County Center at Richmond Highway/Alexandria. Address is 8350 Richmond Hwy (Rt. 1), 4th floor.
Or feel free to call for more information or to apply for help. Call social services at 703-787-3100.
Fairfax Virginia Fan Care Program
There are other ways to stay cool too. The second resource is the Fan Care Program. Dominion Virginia Power works closely with the Virginia Department for the Aging on this program. Together they provide hundreds of window air conditioners or fans to eligible low income seniors in the area. To apply, call Fairfax County’s Department of Family Services and the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging division at 703-324-7694.
In order to receive a unit, the applicant needs to have heat-related health problems, be at minimum 60 years old, and also be low income and meet guidelines.
When applying for a fan or air conditioners, all incomes in a household are considered by the county. While only one fan or AC unit will be dispersed per family, only one adult per household needs to qualify.