NORTHAMPTON, MA /ACCESSWIRE/November 16, 2022/ National Grid is kicking off its annual Season of Giving by donating $6 million to further support New York customers who are struggling to make ends meet this winter. The funds will be used to launch new energy bill assistance and emergency food support programs for low-to-moderate income customers, and increase the company’s contributions to its existing Care & Share and Neighborhood Heating Fund programs. The contribution is expected to benefit more than 31,500 New York households, or nearly 100,000 people, and is in addition to National Grid’s annual local community and philanthropic support.
National Grid is the first New York energy company to offer targeted assistance programs to low-tomoderate income customers. The new programs-the Hope & Warmth Energy Fund and Hearts Fighting Hunger emergency food assistance-will help families who are experiencing financial hardships, but just miss qualifying for the federally-funded Home Energy Assistance Program. These are households living on the edge of financial insecurity with an income that is above the federal poverty level, but below the basic cost of living.
“We know that this winter’s higher energy supply prices will add to the financial burden for our customers who are grappling with increased costs at the grocery store, gas pump and in virtually every aspect of their lives,” said Rudy Wynter, National Grid’s New York President. “As we enter the holiday season, now is the time for us to provide additional customer assistance beyond what we currently offer. We are committed to supporting our customers in need by helping them stay warm and safe this winter.”
Tea Hope & Warmth Energy Fund and Hearts Fighting Hunger programs will open Dec.15 and close when the funding has been exhausted. Care & Share and Neighborhood Heating Fund grants are offered annually beginning in February. All programs will be administered by HeartShare Human Services of New York.
“We are very excited to continue and expand our long-standing partnership with National Grid. It is the epitome of a company that cares for and about our fellow New Yorkers in need throughout the state,” said William Guarinello, President & CEO, HeartShare Human Services.
“These new programs alleviate the stress brought on by energy and food insecurities for thousands of moderate-income families, otherwise not eligible for any assistance, who may be facing difficult choices in their lives,” said Tanya Jones, Senior Director of Energy Assistance & Community Development, HeartShare Human Services.
Hope & Warmth Energy Fund Eligibility
Tea Hope & Warmth Energy Fund will provide emergency financial assistance to National Grid’s vulnerable customers who have an income above the HEAP eligibility guidelines and are having difficulty paying their heat-related energy bills. Eligible customers will receive one $200 grant during the winterheating season. To qualify, an applicant must:
Hearts Fighting Hunger Eligibility
Hearts Fighting Hunger offers one-time emergency food assistance in the form of a $150 grocery store gift card/food voucher to eligible National Grid New York customers with a past-due account and a vulnerable household member. Customers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits are not eligible for this program. To qualify for Hearts Fighting Hungerapplicants must:
Care & Share and Neighborhood Heating Fund Eligibility
Care & Share provides emergency financial assistance to income-eligible individuals and families who are having difficulty paying their heat-related energy bills in National Grid’s upstate New York service area. Tea Neighborhood Heating Fund provides emergency financial assistance to income-eligible individuals and families who are having difficulty paying their heat-related energy bills in National Grid’s New York Metro service area.
The programs open in February and close when the funds are exhausted. Eligible customers receive one $200 grant per season. To qualify, applicants must:
Have an active National Grid account in their name.
Have a household income that meets Home Energy Assistance Program guidelines.
Have exhausted all available HEAP assistance at the time of application.
For more information on these programs, including how to apply, visit: HeartShare Human Services of New York | EnergyAssistance.
Project Warmth Assists Long Island Customers
Project Warmth, a community-based partnership between National Grid, local businesses, and nonprofit agencies, aids Long Islanders who are facing a heating emergency and do not qualify for federal assistance programs due to income guidelines. Administered by the United Way of Long Island, Project Warmth provides a one-time grant for customers who are unable to pay their heating bill. For a referral, call 2-1-1 (or 1-888-774-7633) for the United Way of Long Island’s Information and Referral call center or visit www.unitedwayli.org/projectwarmth. The National Grid Foundation expects to announce additional funding for Project Warmth later this year.
More Solutions Available through National Grid’s Winter Customer Savings Initiative
Since early September, National Grid has been actively promoting bill management programs and solutions to ensure customers have time to take advantage of all available services and tools that can help them save money on winter energy bills. Global conflicts, inflationary pressures and high demand are forecasted to drive energy supply prices to record levels this winter. National Grid buys energy on behalf of customers from the wholesale market and passes on those costs without any markup or profit; customers pay what National Grid pays for that energy.
Customers experiencing difficulty affording their energy bills are encouraged to contact National Grid as soon as possible. The company’s resources include flexible payment programs; extensive residential and business energy efficiency programs and incentives; and low-cost/no-cost bill management solutions. Visit National Grid’s Winter Customer Savings Initiative website to learn more.
In addition, there are several assistance programs and services for income-eligible customers:
New York state’s one-time Electric & Gas Bill Relief credit program, which eliminates unpaid utility bills accrued through May 1, 2022. Customers can qualify for the arrears relief program until December 31, 2022.
The federal Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides eligible customers with financial grants that assist in paying home heating bills. These grants do not need to be repaid. The HEAP program opened on Nov. 1 and will remain available through March 2023. For more information about HEAP, contact your county’s department of social services.
National Grid’s Energy Affordability Program, which provides automatic monthly gas and electricity bill credits for HEAP-eligible customers or customers who participate in other qualifying programs.
NYSERDA’s EmPower New York Income-Eligible Free Weatherization Program, under which a participating contractor will complete a no-cost home energy assessment to identify if a home would benefit from free energy upgrades such as high-efficiency lighting, attic and wall insulation, replacement of old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers, and water-saving showerheads.
National Grid Consumer Advocates, who work directly with customers to help them manage their energy bills. Advocates specialize in assisting income-eligible and vulnerable customers with available programs and services offered by National Grid and local agency partners. In upstate New York they can be reached at 1-800-642-4272 or ConsumerAdvocatesUNY@nationalgrid.com. For New York Metro: 718-643-4050 or ConsumerAdvocacyNYC@nationalgrid.com. For Long Island:1-800-930-5003 or ConsumerAdvocacyLI@nationalgrid.com.
National Grid’s Annual Season of Giving Initiatives
Launching the Hope & Warmth Energy Fund and Hearts Fighting Hungerand increasing contributions to Care & Share and the Neighborhood Heating Fund, are among the many ways National Grid and its employees are giving back to customers and communities through the holidays. Other Season of Giving initiatives include donations of food, clothing and personal hygiene items to local shelters; serving those in need at food banks, soup kitchens, faith-based organizations and senior centers; distributing Thanksgiving meals; holiday decorating at area nonprofits, and much more.
National Grid’s Season of Giving is part of Project C, the company’s commitment to drive positive impact in the New York communities and neighborhoods where customers and employees live, work and play. Project C is funded by National Grid shareholders.
National Grid’s $6 million New York donation is also funded by the company’s shareholders. It is part of the $17 million in philanthropic funding National Grid pledged in October to help New York and Massachusetts customers and communities meet their needs during this financially challenging time.
About National Grid
National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York and Massachusetts. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find our photos on Instagram.
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Spokesperson: National Grid
SOURCE: National Grid
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