As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Dominion Energy is supplementing its $13 million annual program contribution in Virginia with $1 million to assist small business and residential customers facing financial hardship paying their energy bill.

Through Dominion Energy’s “Energy Share” program, small businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship will be eligible for their share of $500,000, while the remaining $500,000 will be reserved for residential customers.

“While small businesses are focused on resuming their operations, bringing back their workforce, and prioritizing the health and safety of their customers and employees, the EnergyShare Small Business Relief Program lends a hand to those at the heart of our economy,” said Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “The landscape continues to change due to the ongoing pandemic and many small businesses are in vital need of additional support – that is why the Virginia Chamber Foundation is proud to partner with Dominion Energy on this relief program.”

For small businesses, a temporary “Small Business Relief Program” will offer one-time assistance of up to $1,000 toward unpaid Dominion Energy Virginia electric bills that may have accrued during the pandemic. To ensure the funds reach those organizations most in need, Dominion Energy has partnered with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation for funds distribution.

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation will administer the program and United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg will manage distribution of funds, as they have done for EnergyShare since the program’s inception in 1982. Support for nonprofits and houses of worship will also be administered through the Small Business Relief Program.

Small business applications for EnergyShare is available on the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation website: www.vachamber.com/foundation/small-business-relief-program. Applicants must submit their completed and e-signed application via e-mail to foundation@vachamber.com for review; they will receive an e-mail with the assistance decision within 14 business days. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

For residential customers, Dominion Energy’s $500,000 increase in funds complements a June announcement, which raised the maximum benefit for the summer cooling season from $300 to $600 per residential account for the year and expanded program eligibility. Residential customers can learn more about EnergyShare, find out if they are eligible, or apply for assistance at www.dominionenergy.com/energyshare or by calling 211.

“For decades, EnergyShare has helped many in crisis get the financial help they need, and this pandemic has made it an even more crucial resource,” said Robert Blue, co-chief operating officer and executive vice president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “If you’re having trouble paying your bill, we want you to know we’re here to help you find the best solution for your unique situation.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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