CHESTER, Va. (WAVY) — As cold weather season approaches, some households may need financial assistance with paying their utility bills.

Columbia Gas of Virginia encourages customers in need of financial assistance to apply for the low income heating assistance program (LIHEAP).

A federally funded program, LIHEAP is administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

The program provides one-time cash grants to qualifying applicants to cover heating bills and emergency heating repairs.

The LIHEAP enrollment period runs from Tuesday, Oct. 10 to Monday, Nov. 13.

The are several ways for income-eligible customers to apply:

  • Online via the Commonwealth of Virginia CommonHelp portal at
  • Manually by submitting an application to their local department of social services
  • By calling the VDSS Enterprise Customer Service Center at 1-855-635-4370 Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“There are many households in Virginia that may be facing higher energy bills this winter and could be struggling financially,” said Columbia Gas of Virginia President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Montague. “We have a variety of programs that offer financial support for which you may be eligible, and we want to ensure you have the help you need in keeping your family warm during the cold months ahead.”

The income eligibility for the 2023 program is 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. That means an individual with an annual income of up to $21,870 or a family of four with an annual income of up to $45,000 is eligible to apply.

For information on other programs offered by Columbia Gas such as flexible payment options, budget plans and income-eligible financial support customers can call 1-800-543-8911 or click here.