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Utility Discount Day Draws Thousands

The District's Joint Utility Discount Day drew 6,001 applicants looking
for financial assistance and discounts on their bills to the Walter E.
Washington Convention Center Thursday, said Alan Heymann, a spokesman
for the District Department of the Environment.

The 2009 fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and city officials estimate that
$20.1 million was distributed to more than 33,000 households. About
16,000 households were east of the Anacostia River, home to wards 7 and
8 where there are more low-income households and a higher unemployment
rate.

"The assistance ranges between $49 and $1,300 depending on income level
and size of household," Heymann said in an e-mail.

Thursday's event launched the application process for fiscal 2010.

The Public Service Commission, the Office of the People's Counsel,
Pepco, Washington Gas, the DC Water and Sewer Authority and Verizon
joined DDOE in staging the event at the convention center.

In a statement, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said, "As our economy
recovers, we don't want anyone to have to choose between food and heat.
I'm proud that we're helping more residents with their bills year after
year.

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 18, 2009; 8:17 AM ET
 
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