Although the winter has come to an end, the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund continues to be available to all eligible households in the state impacted by the pandemic or another crisis. The Fund’s sponsoring energy companies and its administrator, United Way of Rhode Island, want to remind local households struggling financially that the Fund assists with payment of home energy expenses, not only during the winter months but throughout the spring and into the summer.
The Fund is a safety net for households in crisis who are having trouble paying their energy bills. Households in need of energy assistance are encouraged to call their local Community Action Program (CAP) agency to determine if they qualify for the Fund. The CAPs determine household 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 if annual income does not exceed $78,600 while a household of six cannot exceed $105,480. Grants to individual households are determined by fuel type and need with grant amounts up to $650 per heating season.
“Even as the temperatures warm up, the Fund will continue to be a source of relief to those eligible households who are experiencing a loss of income due to the pandemic or any other family crisis,” said Mike Kirkwood, Chairperson of the 2021 Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, and General Manager & CEO of Pascoag Utility District. “We urge all Rhode Island households to dial 2-1-1, United Way’s 24-hour help center, if they are looking for general information about the Fund or need help identifying their local CAP agency to determine eligibility.”
“Despite all of the uncertainties in our world right now, the community has been incredibly generous in supporting the Good Neighbor Energy Fund this year to help make this critical assistance available to their neighbors,” said United Way’s president and CEO, Cortney Nicolato.
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 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 to assist those impacted by the coronavirus can also visit www.rhodeislandgoodneighbor.org or 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 Street, Providence, RI 02909-2459.