Company Contributes $275,000 to Heating Assistance Fund and Takes Active Role in Educating its Customers
October 18, 2010 – National Grid is actively reaching out to its customers through awareness and education initiatives to help them identify and apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants; make cost savings energy efficiency changes in their homes; and work out payment plans to help ease potential financial challenges from the upcoming winter heating season. The company is also contributing $275,000 to the Care and Share Energy Fund, administered by the American Red Cross.
As part of its awareness and education efforts, National Grid has specialized staff of Consumer Advocates to work one-on-one with customers in need. “We believe in putting the power of action into all we do and say, whether through our commitment to helping our customers manage their energy costs or in helping to safeguard our environment for future generations,” said Rudy Wynter, Senior Vice President Customer Service Operations, National Grid. “Our Consumer Advocates are dedicated to assisting customers who may be experiencing financial hardship by providing customized case management services, energy education, advocacy and outreach. We urge customers to contact us at their first sign that they will be challenged by heating costs. The sooner we hear from customers, the more options they may have. ”
The federally funded LIHEAP program provides assistance with home heating bills to eligible households. This program opens in November and is available on a first-come, first-served basis to all utility customers. New York’s State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) website provides access to a quick, easy, confidential tool, www.mybenefits.ny.gov that enables residents to self-screen for their potential eligibility for a variety of programs and benefits, including LIHEAP. To apply for LIHEAP, residents should contact their county Department of Social Services or check OTDA’s website at www.otda.state.ny.us .
Customers who qualify for LIHEAP may also be eligible for assistance through the National Grid Care and Share Energy Fund, administered by the American Red Cross. National Grid’s $275,000 donation to this Upstate New York fund provides heating assistance to qualified applicants regardless of which fuel they use to heat their homes. The program serves households in which a member is 60 or older, or is disabled and receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability, or is experiencing a medical emergency. Donations to the Care and Share Fund may be made by sending a check to: Care & Share Energy Fund c/o The American Red Cross, 220 Herald Place, Syracuse, NY 13202 or by visiting www.syrarc.org .
National Grid’s education and awareness initiative will continue throughout the heating season including a direct mail initiative and outbound calling campaign to help identify customers who might be in need of assistance. In December, LIHEAP information will appear directly on all customer bills.
National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.