The ongoing economic recovery coupled with weather conditions in North America, can sometimes make it difficult for our customers to pay for the energy they need to power, heat and cool their homes. Through our Neighbor-to-Neighbor bill assistance programme in Texas, Direct Energy is proudly lending a helping hand to customers most in need.
In 2015, Direct Energy donated US$593,000 (£305,400) to Neighbor-to-Neighbor which helped over 3,000 customers with a grant for paying their energy bills. The grant awarded is up to US$600 (£400) per individual and makes an important difference to those in need of assistance by reducing the stress and worry of falling into bad debt. And since the launch of the programme in 2003, Direct Energy has contributed over US$8 million (£5 million) to Neighbor-to-Neighbor, assisting more than 52,800 customers.
The grants are distributed via 34 community action agencies, who are best placed to detect customers needing our help. This is because the agencies are already used by individuals in financial hardship to seek assistance with other household payments, such as with their rent or mortgage. To raise awareness of the support available through Neighbor-to-Neighbor, we run events and provide flyers for distribution by our not-for-profit partners.
We additionally enable our customers to help their neighbours. And in 2015, our customers donated more than US$276,300 (£179,400) to the programme.
The scheme is making a big difference.
One of our customers, Amy, who is married with two small children recently sought help from the Neighbor-to-Neighbor programme for the first time, when her husband lost his job. She said: “ We had some savings but things were beginning to get really tight. As it turned out we only needed the assistance of the program one time to get through this time. We are very appreciative of the help the Neighbor to Neighbor program offered”.
Bobbie Charlton, Outreach Worker at Concho Valley Community Action Agency said: “Through the Neighbor-to-Neighbor programme, we’re working with Direct Energy to make a positive impact in the lives of our clients. Helping them with their energy bills takes away some of the worries faced by households in financial hardship.”
Explore more about how we are helping vulnerable people receive the support they need.