Energy Assistance

The Energy Assistance Program assists low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy. It is comprised of Fuel Assistance, Crisis Assistance and Cooling Assistance.

Fuel Assistance

Fuel Assistance assists with various types of energy sources, including electricity, natural and liquid propane gas, oil, kerosene, coal and wood. Fuel Assistance is a supplemental program intended to assist households in meeting their home heating energy needs. 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 online and at Social Services from the second Tuesday in October through the second Friday in November. Applications are processed as soon as possible and applicants should expect notification of their eligibility determination by mid-December.

Crisis Assistance

Crisis Assistance is intended for emergency situations. It helps eligible households when Fuel Assistance or other resources cannot meet the need. Some examples of emergencies include: lack of heat, imminent utility cut-off, and inoperable or unsafe heating equipment. Types of Crisis Assistance may include: payment of utility security deposit; purchase of portable space heater; purchase of primary home heating fuel; payment of primary heat utility bill; repair of heating equipment; replacement of heating equipment; and/or provision of supplemental heating equipment/maintenance.

To be eligible for Crisis Assistance, there must be a heating emergency and certain income and citizenship criteria must be met. Applications for equipment-related assistance are accepted from November 1 through March 15 at the Suffolk Department of Social Services. Assistance for the purchase of heating fuel and utility bills for primary residences are available from the first workday in January through March 15.

Cooling Assistance

Cooling Assistance prevents or helps with cooling emergencies resulting from extreme heat. Applications are accepted at the Suffolk Department of Social Services from June 15 through August 15.

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. The following types of assistance are available if the eligibility conditions are met and the assistance will ensure cooling: purchase or replace and install an air conditioner; repair a central air conditioning unit or heat pump; payment of an electric utility security deposit; payment of the electric bill to operate the cooling equipment.

More Information

For more information, please contact the Suffolk Department of Social Services. You may also find an application and eligibility screening tool by visiting the Virginia CommonHelp Website.