CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched many families’ finances past the breaking point this year, and colder weather may have many facing increases in their energy bills this winter season. Duke Energy is committed to helping customers who are in need with financial assistance through its various community assistance funds. Duke Energy customers across North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida are also helping by contributing to energy assistance programs.
In the last five years, Duke Energy has contributed more than $22 million combined in winter heating assistance funds for its customers in six states, including a mix of shareholder dollars, Duke Energy Foundation funds and customer donations.
Using the theme “We’re All Connected,” Duke Energy encourages customers, employees and shareholders to donate whatever they can to help ensure that no one has to worry about staying warm this winter.
“A gift to these customer assistance programs, even as small as $1, helps improve the lives of seniors and families who struggle to pay their heating bills,” said Barbara Higgins, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief customer officer. “The company also matches contributions dollar for dollar, which extends assistance to even more customers.”
Share the Warmth (customers in Duke Energy Carolinas)
- Funding for Share the Warmth (STW) comes from Duke Energy customers, employees and the Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Foundation will match dollar for dollar up to $500,000 in customer contributions during the heating season. The Share the Warmth program provides financial assistance for heating bills during the winter season for those in need within the Duke Energy service territory in the Carolinas.
- Over 80 agencies within the Duke Energy service territory in the Carolinas assist in the distribution of the funds. Eligibility is based on need and not income guidelines and determined by our STW agencies.
- On the web: Share the Warmth – Energy Assistance – Duke Energy (duke-energy.com)
Energy Neighbor Fund (customers in Duke Energy Progress)
- Provides financial assistance to qualified customers who are at or below 150% of the federal poverty limit.
- Funding for Energy Neighbor Fund comes from Duke Energy Progress customers, employees and the Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Foundation will match dollar for dollar up to $500,000 in customer contributions throughout the year.
- On the web: Energy Neighbor Fund
Helping Hand (customers in Duke Energy Indiana)
- This program, funded by Duke Energy shareholders, employees and customers, lends a Helping Hand to customers who are least able to cope with their electric bills.
- Duke Energy has more than $460,000 dedicated to its Indiana customers in need this winter.
- Duke Energy has partnered with the Indiana Community Action Association Energy Assistance Program (EAP) to distribute the program dollars. The EAP agencies will notify recipients if they are eligible for up to a $300 credit toward their electric bill.
- On the web: Helping Hand
HeatShare (customers in Duke Energy Ohio)
- Funding for HeatShare comes from Duke Energy shareholders, employees and customers. Duke Energy donates $100,000 and will match dollar for dollar up to $100,000 in employee and customer contributions.
- HeatShare is administered by The Salvation Army. Eligible customers may apply for one-time annual assistance up to $400 beginning mid-January through July 31 or until funds are depleted.
- Eligibility is based on need and doesn’t follow government income assistance guidelines.
- On the web: HeatShare
WinterCare (customers in Duke Energy Kentucky)
- Funding for WinterCare comes from Duke Energy shareholders, employees and customers. Duke Energy donates $25,000 and will match dollar for dollar up to $25,000 in employee and customer contributions.
- WinterCare is administered by the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC). Eligibility and the distribution of funds are determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Eligible customers may receive assistance up to $300 during the year as long as funds are available.
- On the web: WinterCare
Energy Neighbor Fund (customers in Duke Energy Florida)
- Funding for Energy Neighbor Fund comes from Duke Energy customers, employees and the Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Foundation will match dollar for dollar up to $500,000 in customer contributions annually.
- ENF funds are allocated by county on a monthly basis to 14 partner United Way and other social service agencies to assist Duke Energy Florida customers, based on need.
- On the web: Energy Neighbor Fund
Customers and employees in all Duke Energy jurisdictions may donate on their bill by marking the donation in the designated section, mailing a check or money order or paperless billing customers may donate online when paying their monthly bill. Click on the link above that matches your jurisdiction or state for more details.
To see how Duke Energy’s winter assistance programs benefit customers and communities, visit:
Winter Energy-Saving Tips
- Reduce your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting when home, and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.
- One of the easiest things customers can do to support heating efficiency is to change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house, but close them at night to help insulate your home.
For more information on how to cut costs and stay warm this winter, visit 10 ways to save energy and lower your bill in cold weather | Duke Energy | illumination (duke-energy.com). Duke Energy also offers energy efficiency products, services and information to help customers save energy and money at duke-energy.com.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
SOURCE Duke Energy