Utility assistance program expands to provide more help for those unable to pay gas bills

A natural gas provider and a local nonprofit are working together to provide additional assistance for those struggling to pay their utility bills this year.

Warm Hearts of Douglas County, a nonprofit agency that provides financial assistance to those struggling to pay heating fuel bills, has worked with Black Hills Energy on a utility assistance fund in previous years, according to a news release from Black Hills. But in response to the pandemic, the program was expanded this year by extending assistance eligibility for the entire year and raising the donation limit from $300 to $600. As a result, the number of households the program was able to help increased from 256 to 448.

Warm Hearts of Douglas County receives funds from the Black Hills Cares program, which lets customers opt into an additional fee to support utility assistance. Black Hills matches those contributions and allocates the money back to Douglas County. This year, the Black Hills contribution was $115,000.

Those interested in donating to the Warm Hearts of Douglas County utility assistance fund or applying for assistance can do so through its website, WarmHeartsOfDouglasCounty.com.


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