Nearly one in six Texans in North America are affected by energy poverty. With the Public Utility Commission's Lite-Up electricity bill assistance program no longer available, we want to ensure those who need help to power, heat and cool their homes are supported.
In 2017, we are able to extend a helping hand to nearly 4,000 Texans in need of assistance through our Neighbor-to-Neighbor programme. The programme enables customers to receive a grant of up to US$700 (£540) to pay for their energy and clear their debts. The grants are available through more than 30 community action agencies, who are best placed to detect customers that need help. This is because the agencies are already used by individuals in financial hardship who are seeking assistance with other household payments, such as with their rent or mortgage. We continuously raise awareness about the support available through Neighbor-to-Neighbor by running community events and distributing flyers through our not-for-profit partners.
To fund Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Direct Energy made a direct donation of US$685,500 (£531,400) in 2017. We also give our customers the opportunity to support their neighbours and last year, they donated an additional US$39,800 (£30,900) to the programme.
Since 2007, Direct Energy has contributed over £6.9 million to Neighbor-to-Neighbor which has supported over 35,000 customers.*
Neighbor-to-Neighbor makes a big difference to our customers.
Maria L. Hernandez, a customer San Benito, Texas said: “Me and my husband have custody of our four children and our bill comes extremely high now due to the hot temperatures. We seek help with our bill through the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program. The help we get on our bill helps us utilize that money on our grandchildren basic necessities.”
Find out more about how we are helping those in need.
*Number of households may involve double-counting if a household received support in more than one calendar year.