Due to the end to the moratorium on home energy shut-offs for all customers not on protected status, sponsors of the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund are encouraging those in need of energy assistance to visit a local Community Action Program (CAP)
Due to the end to the moratorium on home energy shut-offs for all customers not on protected status, sponsors of the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund are encouraging those in need of energy assistance to visit a local Community Action Program (CAP) agency to determine if the fund can offer relief. Those seeking assistance from the fund but unsure of the CAP agency in their area should call United Way of Rhode Island’s 2-1-1 information line. United Way is a longtime partner of the fund and its administrator.
“With the end to the moratorium on energy shut-offs, there is often a spike in the urgency of need for energy assistance,” said Mike Kirkwood, chairperson of the 2021 Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund campaign and general manager and CEO of Pascoag Utility District. “We encourage all those who are having trouble making ends meet to visit a local Community Action Program agency to see if your household qualifies for assistance from the Fund or call 2-1-1 for more information.”
The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a safety net for households having difficulty paying their energy bills. The state’s local CAP agencies determine eligibility for the Fund based on total household income not exceeding 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a household of four is eligible for the Fund if its annual income is not greater than $78,600, while a household of six is eligible with an income no greater than $105,480. Grants to individual households are determined by fuel type and need, and can amount to up to $650 per heating season.
“Rhode Islanders have faced significant challenges over the past year, and as energy shut-offs loom for many of our neighbors, families are at risk of falling into a crisis situation,” adds Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO. “The Good Neighbor Energy Fund can help stabilize these households and we must make sure those who need the help know where to turn. No one should ever hesitate to call 2-1-1.”
In addition to the various giving programs of Fund sponsors – Block Island Utility District, National Grid, Ocean State Power, Pascoag Utility District, Petro Home Services and RISEC LP – the Fund’s “Warm Thy Neighbor” campaign relies on the generosity of individuals, families and local corporations for support. Rhode Islanders most often donate to the Fund via the yellow donation envelopes that are enclosed with energy bills. Those interested in donating to the Fund can also text “WARM” to 91999 on their mobile phone, send a check payable to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund” to Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, c/o United Way of Rhode Island, 50 Valley St., Providence, RI 02909-2459 or visit rhodeislandgoodneighbor.org.