Programs to help with winter energy needs

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By The Staff

Because of the colder weather which translates into greater energy usage, E.ON U.S./KU will make additional funds available to customers in need who struggle to pay their winter heating bills.

Specifically, E.ON U.S. is increasing its customer match for the heating assistance program WinterCare and Winterhelp, from 25-cents to $1 -- four times the traditional match. The increased match will be retroactive, beginning November 1 and continuing through April 30, 2009.

The WinterCare and Winterhelp Energy Assistance fund are non-profit programs promoted by Kentucky Utilities Company and Louisville Gas and Electric Company, respectively. Both programs are managed by an independent third party and the utilities play no role in determining eligibility. Combined since 1983, the programs have raised more than $6 million to help families in need pay their winter heating bills.

“We understand that colder weather and increased energy usage as a result can lead to higher utility bills, which can certainly create additional challenges for families in need,” said John P. Malloy, Vice President of Energy Delivery - Retail, for E.ON U.S. “Increasing our company match to WinterCare and Winterhelp is another way for us to reach out to help those most in need this heating season.”

Residential customers may donate to the programs by making a monthly pledge or a one-time contribution that can be added to their monthly bill payment. The funds are distributed based on income. However, income guidelines typically are less restrictive than other programs. Donations are tax-deductable.

For eligibility requirements for the WinterCare program or for more information, KU customers should contact their local Community Action agency. LG&E customers can call 502-561-6836.