Cooling Assistance Applications Now Open for Highland County Residents in Need

If you or someone you know needs help with cooling expenses, the Virginia Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is here to assist! The application period is open now through August 15, 2024 via an online form. Those filling out the application must have cooling expense responsibility and their household must include at least one vulnerable individual age 60 or older, disabled, or under age six. Income limits apply based on household size. For instance, a family of four’s monthly gross income can not exceed $3,900. 


Cooling assistance provides for the purchase or repair of cooling equipment and/or the payment for electricity to operate cooling equipment. This could include the purchase and install of a window air conditioning unit, repair on a central air conditioning unit, electric bill assistance for operating cooling equipment, or security deposit assistance for electric bills.


Here’s Department of Social Services Director Emily Malcolm explaining the program’s continued impact on our community.


“The cooling assistance program is part of Virginia Energy Assistance. Virginia Energy Assistance has two other programs that are operated within the winter months, but cooling assistance will be opening up in June and that will assist low income households with their electric bills. This past year we served 42 households, and once a family turns in an application to our department, they are processed or pended into our system every Friday. And then once approved, the money goes onto the electric account within the next week and this happens twice a week. We don’t know what that lump sum amount will be for this year, but in previous years it has been up to $600. So this is a huge help to a lot of our families here in highland that are low income.”


There are three ways to apply. Applicants can fill out a screening for eligibility and apply through CommonHelp at Those interested can also call the Enterprise Customer Service Center at 1-855-635-4370. This hotline is open Monday – Friday, 7 am – 6 pm. If you need help with an application, paper applications are also available at the Highland County Department of Social Services office at 158 Courthouse Lane, Monterey, VA 24465. 


Those with questions should contact Breanna Hartman, Benefits Program Specialist III, at the Highland County Department of Social Services (540) 468-2199 ext 304.

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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