Energy Assistance Program

Cooling Assistance

The purpose of cooling assistance is to prevent or help with cooling expenses resulting from extreme heat. Applications are accepted at the local department of Social Services from June 15th through August 15th.


To be eligible for any type of Cooling Assistance, certain income and citizenship criteria must be met. In addition, the household must contain at least one vulnerable person and there must be a cooling need. A vulnerable person is someone who is aged 60 or over, or a child under six or a disabled individual. 

The following types of assistance are available if the eligibility conditions are met and the assistance will ensure cooling:

  • Payment of the electric bill to operate the cooling equipment
  • Payment of an electric utility security deposit
  • Purchase or replace and install a window air conditioner
  • Repair a central air conditioner unit or heat pump

Fuel Assistance

The purpose of Fuel Assistance is to help eligible households with cost of home heating. It is designed to help offset this expense rather than to pay all of it. It can also help with the following:

  • Delivery charges
  • Furnace re-starts
  • Installation charges and connect or re-connection fees
  • Late charges


To be eligible for Fuel Assistance, there are certain income guidelines and living arrangements that must be met. The household must be responsible for paying the heating bill. Applications are accepted from the second Tuesday in October through the second Friday in November. Benefits are determined and authorizations for deliveries or services are sent to vendors in mid-December.

Crisis Assistance

The purpose of Crisis Assistance is to meet a household's emergency heating need, when no other resource is available.


To be eligible for Crisis there must be a heating emergency and certain income and citizenship criteria must be met. Applications are accepted from November 1st through March 15th. The Crisis assistance offered during this time period includes a onetime only heat security deposit; and/or heating equipment repair/purchase.


Applications accepted from the first workday in January through March 15th are for the following Crisis types of assistance: purchase of home heating fuel and payment of heat utility bill in disconnect status. Assistance is based on the availability of funds. Applications may be obtained from the Virginia Department of Social Services Energy Assistance website.