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ENERGYSHARE HELPS 53 PERCENT MORE HOUSEHOLDS IN DECEMBER

 RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The EnergyShare heating assistance program helped 53 percent more households in December 1992 compared to December 1991, EnergyShare intake agencies report.
 In December 1992 EnergyShare helped 362 households. During the same period in 1991, EnergyShare helped 237 households.
 The program, marking its 10th year, provides emergency assistance to pay any energy bill -- electricity, oil, gas, wood or coal. Health and social service agencies began paying energy bills on Dec. 18. Applications will be taken through May 29 or as long as funds last.
 "Although the recession is over, many people still face financial hardships," Robert F. Hill, senior vice president-commercial operations, Virginia Power, said. "The need for energy assistance is great, and we appreciate the generosity our customers, employees and EnergyShare partners have shown over the past 10 years."
 Virginia Power customers will receive an envelope in their February statement as a reminder of the continuing need for EnergyShare contributions. Donations are tax deductible and are used only to pay heating bills.
 Contributions in any amount may be mailed in the envelope to EnergyShare, P.O. Box 12083, Richmond, Va., 23241, or may be made through electric bill overpayments of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25 or $35.
 To qualify for EnergyShare, a person must live in Virginia Power's service territory, be in danger of losing an important heating source, have exhausted federal or state fuel assistance or have been ruled ineligible for government fuel assistance programs. An EnergyShare recipient must have a household income no higher than one-half of the local median income level, be unemployed or demonstrate a personal or family crisis.
 Those interested in applying for EnergyShare assistance should contact their Virginia Power business office. The phone number is listed on the Virginia Power statement.
 Persons eligible for EnergyShare can receive only one payment of up to $500 during the heating season. Payments go directly to the energy vendor on behalf of the people helped.
 Virginia Power contributes $67,000 to local non-profit agencies to help cover the costs of administering EnergyShare so that all money donated to the program goes to help pay heating bills. Virginia Power also will contribute $50,000 in matching funds to help persons in need pay their Virginia Power bill.
 This year, EnergyShare began Oct. 1 with a special 10th anniversary focus on senior citizens. Adults age 60 and older who received EnergyShare benefits last winter were eligible to receive a "Light Pack" that includes six energy-efficient light bulbs, a handbook listing Virginia Power programs for seniors and information on how to stretch energy dollars. More than 700 Light Packs were distributed to eligible seniors.
 -0- 2/3/93
 /CONTACT: Charles H. Taylor of Virginia Power, 804-771-6115/


CO: Virginia Power ST: Virginia IN: UTI SU:

DC -- DC017 -- 2371 02/03/93 11:57 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1993
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