Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund sponsor, Unitil is appealing to local residents and businesses to consider a donation to the Fund's 2015 “Give the Gift of Warmth” campaign due to the recent bitter cold temperatures.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund provides energy assistance to those Massachusetts households who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month's energy expense and are not eligible for state or federal energy assistance funds. The 30th annual campaign is a cooperative effort between the state's sponsoring energy companies, the general public and The Salvation Army which administers the Fund, The campaign's 2014-15 goal is to raise $550,000 and help more than 1,750 households.
“The Fund has experienced an increase in the number of inquiries by those families in in need of energy assistance,” said Unitil’s Sue Corson, customer assistance programs. “The reasons for more request is the recent extreme weather and electric supply rates that are higher than last year for much of New England. With this in mind, we ask that all our neighbors consider enclosing a gift of any amount in the green donation envelopes found in their utility bills or donating online at www.magoodneighbor.org.”
The Fund is often the last resort for families who have not qualified for federal and state assistance programs. To qualify for assistance from the Fund, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels. For example, a household size of 2 would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $42,654 and $56,872 to qualify. A household of 6 would need to have a yearly income of between $82,800 and $110,400 to qualify, etc. This year's Fund disbursement is $275 per eligible household for the heating season.
Residents and businesses that wish to support the Fund can “Give the Gift of Warmth” by using the green-colored Good Neighbor Energy Fund donation envelope found as an insert in monthly energy bills. Some energy companies offer an 'add a dollar' program which allows customers to contribute on their monthly bill payment by one dollar or more. Anyone can also donate with a credit card online by visiting www.magoodneighbor.org and checking the appropriate box or by calling 1-800-725-2769. Donors can also simply mail a check payable to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund”, c/o The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, Massachusetts, 02021-1408.
For more information on the Fund and how to apply, visit your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center or call (800) 334-3047 if in area codes 508, 617, 781 or 978 or (800) 262-1320 if in area code 413 or on the Web: www.magoodneighbor.org.