The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and the Virginia Department of Social Services are offering programs that will help low-income Virginians stay warm this winter. NOVEC encourages its customer-owners to participate in Operation Round Up (ORU), which provides heating assistance to qualified recipients, and the Co-op encourages low-income people to apply for fuel assistance between now and Nov. 14 through VDSS's Energy Assistance Program.
By participating in ORU, NOVEC customers agree to have their monthly bills rounded up to the nearest dollar. For example, if a bill is $89.54, NOVEC will round it up to $90 and put the extra 46¢ in the ORU fund. Customers who participate donate approximately $6 a year. Because NOVEC absorbs all administration costs, 100 percent of all donations go into the fund.
NOVEC customers may join ORU online at www.novec.com/community; select Operation Round Up. Or they may call Customer Service, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 703-335-0500 or toll-free: 1-888-335-0500.
Anyone who is not a Co-op member, but would like to donate to ORU, may send a check in any amount, payable to NOVEC Operation Round Up, to: NOVEC, P.O. Box 2710, Manassas, VA 20108.
After receiving donations, the ORU board, composed of NOVEC customer-owners, sends donations to: The Salvation Army, Loudoun County; The Salvation Army, Fairfax County; Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Prince William County; SERVE, a program of Northern Virginia Family Service, Prince William County; SERVE, Stafford County, and Fauquier Family Shelter Services, Fauquier County.
These organizations distribute funds to low-income people who qualify for assistance.
Families and individuals can apply for assistance online at https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/access or at their local department of social services office, www.dss.virginia.gov/localagency. Applications can be printed from www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi, or an applicant can request that the local department mail an application. Applications can be submitted online or by mail, fax, or in person at a local department of social services.