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RICHMOND, Va. -- In the next few days skyrocketing temperatures are expected to increase with a heat index likely to surpass 100 degrees.

Many will have a tough time keeping cool. That's why Dominion Energy officials have put programs into place to help citizens.

Janet Hancock said there are “three energy share assistance options” available. One option includes “bill pay help that can keep customers current on their bill.”

Another option is having your HVAC repaired. A working HVAC is essential and for many getting it repaired is not possible, Dominion said. The EnergyShare program can determine if someone is eligible to participate.

Dominion also suggested seniors, who may be struggling, should stay comfortable indoors. They are encouraged to apply for a free single-room air conditioner unit (eligibility is based on income). For information on how to apply call 1-800-552-3402.

“Now is a good time to keep the lines of communication open especially as electric bills start to shoot up,” Hancock said.

The EnergyShare program has helped eight hundred thousand customers since it began in 1982. Through the program, eighteen thousand homes have also been weatherized since the program expanded three years ago.

Funds for EnergyShare come from tax-deductible, voluntary donations from customers, stockholders, employees, EnergyShare Partners and Dominion Energy. Hancock says funds are distributed through a network of nonprofit health and human services agencies.

Customers who would like to contribute to EnergyShare, can do so by adding extra money to their electric bill at any time.

Dominion Energy’s EnergyShare’s Cooling Assistance program can provide any needed help with cooling equipment repairs or purchases and with payment of the energy bill to operate cooling equipment. Check out the Virginia Department of Social Services website.

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