Washington, DC – Natural gas utilities provided nearly $1.1 billion in energy assistance programs in 2011, demonstrating a continued commitment to assisting low-income customers. These efforts included customer rate assistance programs and arrearage amnesty, weatherization and efficiency services and participation from utility employees and shareholders in company-sponsored fundraising drives, according to a report by the American Gas Association (AGA).
“AGA wants every American to have access to the benefits of clean, domestic natural gas,” said AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy. “No one should need to choose between heating or cooling their home and other basic human needs. Utilities are providing help with bill payments and home weatherization, and are sponsoring fundraising efforts. We are proud of our member companies’ dedication in helping to ensure that vulnerable customers are able to meet their energy needs.”
In addition to utility-sponsored programs, AGA continues to support other efforts to assist low-income customers. On Wednesday, April 10, AGA and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) hosted advocates from across the country at AGA headquarters in Washington, DC, as they gathered for the National Fuel Funds Network’s (NFFN’s) LIHEAP Action Day – a day of meetings with policymakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for funding for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP Action Day participants are advocating for $4.7 billion in funding for this critical program that provides federal aid to help natural gas customers who struggle with home heating and cooling bills during times of extreme weather. As part of the day’s activities, Senator Mary Landrieu was recognized for her continued support for LIHEAP through the NFFN Extra Mile award.