GMP and VGS Among Seven National Utilities Joining Federal Push to Further Protect Customers This Winter
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power (GMP) and VGS are among an initial group of utilities recognized by the White House as part of an ongoing initiative to ensure vulnerable Americans are protected this winter and that unprecedented pandemic relief funding is distributed to customers for heat and utility assistance. VGS and GMP were among the first in the country to sign on to the White House initiative, agreeing to identify and notify customers eligible for assistance programs, and to guarantee no shutoffs for customers who are seeking assistance.
“As we prepared for this convening, [we put out] a special challenge to utilities and energy providers to do their part,” said White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling at the November 18 briefing by the White House. “We’ve been very pleased that in the last few days, seven major utility companies including DTE Energy, Eversource, Green Mountain Power, National Grid, NorthWestern Energy, Portland General Electric, and Vermont Gas, as well as the delivered fuel trade association NEFI, have all answered this call.”
GMP and VGS have both been working proactively with empathy throughout the pandemic to help customers and connect them with available assistance programs, as record numbers of Vermonters have fallen behind on their utility balances. There are assistance programs that can help customers right now.
If you rent your home, you may qualify for assistance for past due utility bills and rent by applying through the Vermont Department of Public Service. This program is funded with federal pandemic relief dollars. A similar program for income eligible homeowners is launching soon to provide utility and mortgage assistance.
GMP has a discount program for customers who are low income that will help with past due balances and future bills. That https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/eap/. GMP also offers no interest payment plans and can be reached toll free at (888) 835-4672.
VGS has a low income assistance program to provide eligible customers with 20% off their monthly heating bills. The program is administered by the Vermont Department of Children and Families and customers can apply using this application. VGS also provides no interest payment plans. Customers can call (800) 639-2112 to learn more.
Federal pandemic relief also more than doubled nationwide funding for the government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), sending an additional $4.5 billion to states to help defray rising home heating costs this season. Vermonters can get help through LIHEAP by contacting the Department for Children and Families.
There are also funds available to mitigate a heating crisis during the winter months. Vermonters can apply through their local Community Action Agency.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 266,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). In 2021, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation, and in 2019 GMP earned the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine.
VGS is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for over 55,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont’s clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels, offering renewable natural gas service, and delivering award-winning energy efficiency programs. VGS is leading the country in the development of local renewable energy generation and has targeted a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and full elimination by 2050. For more information about Vermont Gas visitwww.vgsvt.com.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power
As we prepared for this convening, [we put out] a special challenge to utilities and energy providers to do their part.Gene Sperling, White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator