Entergy Employees Speak Out for LIHEAP
Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten Assistance to Nearly 62,000 Texas Households
Entergy Texas, Inc. is joining forces with other low-income advocates in Washington, DC, this week to urge Congress to find $5.1 billion for America’s front-line energy assistance program. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income citizens pay utility bills for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Mary Young, senior customer operations support specialist for Entergy Texas, is on hand to represent the company, along with employees from Entergy’s other utility companies.
According to a new study from Indiana University, tough economic times have driven millions of Americans into poverty in recent years and those numbers will increase even as the economy rebounds. The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Texas as tied for America’s fourth-highest poverty rate in the nation with roughly 4.4 million Texans living at or below the poverty level. Meanwhile, LIHEAP funding has been reduced by nearly 40 percent over the last two years.
“If LIHEAP funding is cut as proposed, it will mean nearly 62,000 fewer families will be served in Texas,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director, Entergy Texas, Inc. “We’ve got to do all we can to help our neighbors and fellow Texans find the means to pay for essential heating and cooling.”
Although LIHEAP prioritizes families with preschoolers, elderly or disabled members, many U.S. veterans and their families need LIHEAP. In fact, 20 percent of LIHEAP households are veterans, and in some cases, the families of active-duty service men and women.
Entergy employees and charitable groups are participating in the National Fuel Funds Network’s Action Day for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to call for more funding at the federal level. Entergy has many programs designed to meet the needs of its low-income customers including The Power to Care Fund made up of contributions from customers, employees, and shareholders. However, even with these programs and charitable organizations, the needs still outpace available resources.
“We and many others are asking Congress to provide $5.1 billion for LIHEAP,” Pierce said. “Families in vulnerable situations are turning to LIHEAP in record numbers to make it through these still tough times.”
Citizens can stay connected to the discussion and can even sign an online petition in
support of LIHEAP funding by visiting nationalfuelfunds.org and clicking on “LIHEAP Action Day”.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 400,000 in 27 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.