Penquis has partnered with Versant Power for Power Match, a charitable matching program that will provide power bill credits to customers in need. Versant Power agreed to match all donations up to $200,000 and provided an additional $60,000 start-up fund to begin helping customers immediately.
Power Match will be facilitated and administered through community action programs in the Versant Power service area. These programs include Penquis, Aroostook County Action Program and Downeast Community Partners. From the $60,000 seed fund, each community action program received $20,000. The matching fund amount of $200,000 will be split among the three programs based on donations received through their individual donation portals.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Versant on the Power Match program,” said Kara Hay, CEO of Penquis. “Many are struggling financially and with costs rising we are hearing people say they have to make very tough choices about which bills to pay. The ability to provide energy assistance as we enter our darkest and coldest months is absolutely essential to ensuring the safety and well-being of our family, friends, and neighbors.
Last year, 20% of Americans struggled to pay their energy bill in full at least once. Low-income households face a disproportionate energy burden. According to the DOE’s Low-Income Household Energy Accessibility Data Tool, the national average energy load for low-income households is 8.6%, three times higher than for low-income households, which is estimated at 3%. In some areas, depending on location and income, the energy load can be as high as 30%.
Many customers in Versant Power’s service area do not qualify for low-income assistance based on income eligibility guidelines, but still require assistance with utility bills. Power Match will aim to close this gap by offering bill credits to customers who exceed the income eligibility criteria for programs such as the Home Energy Assistance Program, but who still need a emergency help.
“Versant is committed to supporting our neighbors in the communities where we live and serve and to finding new ways to address challenges that can affect us all,” said Kendra Overlock, Vice President, Customer Service and Communications at Versant Power. . “We are confident that our local partner agencies are well placed to provide assistance where it is needed, particularly for those struggling to make ends meet during the cold winter months.”
Penquis, ACAP and DCP will determine who should receive bill credit in accordance with the eligibility criteria they have established and will share those details with Versant Power, who will credit customer bills by an amount determined by the Community Action Program. .
To donate, please visit bit.ly/powermatchpenquis. For more information and to find out if you qualify for Power Match, please contact us at 207-973-3630 or [email protected] You can also follow Penquis on Facebook (@PenquisHelpingTodayBuildingTomorrow), Twitter (@penquisCAP), Instagram (penquiscap) or LinkedIn and follow Versant Power on Twitter (@versantpower), Instagram (versantpower) or LinkedIn for updates.