In response to this summer's extended heat wave and record power usage, Entergy Corporation is allocating $1 million across its four-state service territory to help qualifying elderly and disabled customers who are in need of assistance pay their summer energy bills.
The allocation is divided into two parts:
Entergy shareholders are providing $500,000 to local nonprofit agencies that provide bill payment assistance to elderly and disabled customers who need assistance.
Additionally, Entergy is launching a "Double Your Power" fundraising drive to bolster The Power to Care customer assistance fund. Entergy shareholders will give $2 for every $1 in new customer donations to The Power to Care fund, up to an additional $500,000.
"We know from living in the South that summer means higher electricity use as customers try to stay cool," Hugh McDonald, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Arkansas, Inc. said. "This summer we've experienced sustained, record-breaking heat, which can lead to higher energy costs and can be dangerous. To provide relief, we're building on our summer initiatives by offering a combination of programs to help customers deal more effectively with hotter weather and increased energy costs."
These supplemental donations will provide emergency utility assistance for thousands more elderly and disabled customers beyond those already assisted by Entergy this summer in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Orleans and Texas.
As part of the initial corporate donation, McDonald presented a $130,000 check to the Arkansas Energy Network. Similar check presentations are being made by other Entergy utilities to nonprofit agencies that provide emergency utility bill assistance to elderly and disabled customers. The total potential donations to customers could reach approximately $325,000 when customer donations to The Power to Care and the shareholder match are calculated.
Customers should contact Southern Good Faith Fund to be screened for eligibility and referred to a local agency to apply for assistance. For more information, call (501) 661-0322 ext. 31.
As part of the overall initiative to help customers, Entergy is also:
- Providing some 1,000 home weatherization starter kits via special promotions throughout the company's four-state region
- Extending and expanding services at emergency cooling centers for the elderly, and
- Donating an additional 5,000 fans systemwide to qualifying customers via a second round of the company's "Beat the Heat" campaign
Customers have access to money-saving tips and tools in one powerful online resource -- ENsight, Entergy's website to help customers save money on their bills. Enhanced features on ENsight include energy, lighting and appliance calculators; simple tips to make homes and businesses more energy-efficient; and information about available energy-efficiency programs.
As they've done throughout the summer, Entergy representatives will continue making energy-efficiency presentations in communities and conducting workshops designed to help customers save money.
"The extended heat wave has made it a very challenging summer for customers, and Entergy wants to do its part to help customers get through the rest of the season as safely, comfortably and cost-effectively as possible," McDonald said.
Entergy, its employees and its customers regularly contribute to The Power to Care, a special fund that provides emergency utility assistance for elderly and disabled customers. None of the donations are used for fundraising or administrative purposes, so 100 percent of contributions go to help those in need. The Power to Care doubles the impact of new pledges and one-time donations through matching Entergy shareholder contributions up to $500,000 annually. Customers can make tax-deductible donations to The Power to Care fund at the secure website at entergy-arkansas.com or by checking a box to add a dollar or more to their monthly bill.
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to 698,000 customers in 63 counties.