Tell your energy bill to chill out!   

Extreme heat doesn’t just cause serious heat-related illnesses. It can also be a pain for your monthly budget. The National Energy Association Directors Association estimates that this will be the most expensive summer yet for families trying to keep their homes cool.

Starting on June 15, Virginia’s Department of Social Services (DSS) will help eligible residents with cooling equipment purchases, repair, and/or bill payment. You can apply for state assistance by creating an account at CommonHelp online, by calling 855-635-4370, or visiting your local Department of Social Services. To learn more about the program and who is eligible, visit the DSS website.

When the temperature rises above 95 degrees, electric fans won’t actually cool the body, so AC is a necessity. In addition to exploring energy bill assistance, try out these strategies for reducing your utility bill during a hot summer:

  • Turn off lights and unplug equipment when you’re not using it. Not only will these habits help your wallet, they’ll keep your home a little cooler!
  • Close doors to unused rooms.
  • Cover windows with shades and curtains.
  • If your home doesn’t have AC, make plans to get out of the heat at air-conditioned community spaces! These might include Richmond or Henrico Public libraries, free museums like the Virginia Museum for Fine Arts, shopping centers, or community spaces like RHHD’s resource centers.

Stay tuned for more advice on beating the heat. And have questions about health and heat you want to see addressed in future newsletter editions? You can email