Cooling bill assistance in Virginia.

During the hot summer months, the Virginia the State Department of Social Services will help people apply fo programs that can help them stay cool. In addition, they may also have financial assistance for paying bills. After all staying cool during the hot and humid summer months is important, especially for seniors, young children, and people with medical conditions.

The resources offered in Virginia are quite extensive and wide ranging. Some of the types of cooling bill assistance includes, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Financial aid for the payment of security or utility deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment.
  • Low cost or maybe even free air conditioners, in particular a window unit.
  • Money for the repairs, tune ups, and enhancements for repairs of central air condition systems or heat pumps.
  • Funds to use for the purchase of a whole-house fan or window unit, whichever is appropriate.
  • Cash to be used for the payment of electric bills to operate air conditioners and cooling equipment.

In general, cooling assistance pays for things like electric bills to run central air and/or it can help purchase or repair one AC unit per household. Whatever it takes to keep the client cool.

The programs are not exclusive, meaning that individuals can qualify for more than one of these types of these assistance programs at the same time. Applications are accepted starting in June. The State of Virginia Department of Social Services accepts and process applications from the needy at the local county level.

The main goal is to help eligible low-income individuals and families, with priority given to the most vulnerable citizens and people who are at risk. This includes the disabled, elderly, and young children. Services are offered across Virginia. Assistance is offered for those who simply cannot afford to pay their utility or electric bills on their own. Government funds can even be used for expenses such as repairing an air conditioner or buying a fan.





The program is limited in scope and funding. Applications are usually accepted until the mid-August time frame. Any low-income or working poor families who need help paying their power bill can apply for assistance from the state of Virginia. The best place to do this at is a local DSS office.

Cooling bill assistance is available to households with adults over age 60, a family with a child under age six, or people with disabilities. All of these individuals can receive help.

As with most government programs, there are income caps and limits that need to be met in order to qualify for assistance. The maximum gross monthly income that is allowed (before taxes) for a one-person household is over $1,200 and greater than $2,400 for a household of four. The income limits increase as the number of people in the home increases.

The program is limited in funding. Most of the money comes from the federal government, with some limited funding from the state of Virginia. Assistance for summer cooling bills will be available only until all funds are depleted.

Where to apply for cooling assistance in Virginia

There are about 120 social service offices to apply at across Virginia. These government locations accept applications until mid August. Also feel free to stop by your local community action agency or Salvation Army for additional details. Click here for details on various non-profit agencies, government offices, and other centers.



By Jon McNamara

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