Entergy launches COVID-19 relief fund for customers in need, offers ways to keep energy bill down

Assistance to be distributed to United Way, other non-profits

Entergy launches COVID-19 relief fund for customers in need, offers ways to keep energy bill down
(Source: WAFB)

(WAFB) - Entergy has now launched a charitable fund in order to help those experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Entergy Charitable Foundation has created the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

“The health and safety of our customers, employees and communities is Entergy’s top priority,” said Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation. “For more than 100 years, Entergy has never wavered in our commitment to supporting our customers and the communities we serve. This pandemic is no different. During this challenging time, we are helping lessen the impact of this crisis on the most vulnerable in our communities. I strongly encourage our business partners to join us in this effort.”

Entergy announced Monday, March 23 that shareholders are pledging $700,000 to the relief fund to help qualifying customers with basic needs like food, rent/mortgage assistance, and other critical needs. Grants from the fund will be provided to United Way organizations and other non-profits that are providing services to impacted families.

“We know from experience that working families and low-income elderly and disabled customers are hardest hit during times of crisis,” said Patty Riddlebarger, vice president of Entergy’s corporate social responsibility. “We are working quickly to make funds available to community partners that serve vulnerable households to lessen the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that families have the resources they need to get by during this time of uncertainty.”

Entergy says company shareholders will also match employees contributions to relief efforts of area United Way organizations up to $100,000 to maximize the fund’s impact.

Entergy says it’s taking the following actions to help customers:

  • Temporarily suspending customer disconnects while monitoring the situation
  • Working with network of community advocates to request a funding increase of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help alleviate financial hardships caused by COVID-19 on vulnerable households
  • Developing bill payment solutions and tools to help customers pay their accumulated balances once the disconnect moratorium is lifted

Seniors and disabled individuals can take advantage of Entergy’s The Power to Care program, which emergency bill payment assistance.

Entergy also offered ways for people to keep their electric bill down at a time when many families have a full house during times the home would normally be empty.

Entergy said the best way to manage this increase in energy use is to follow simple energy-saving tips, including regularly replacing HVAC filters, insulating doors and windows, and keeping your home temperature at 78 degrees. For every degree above or below the recommended seasonal temperature, your bill can increase by as much as 3%.

Other ways to manage through the higher costs of powering your home:

  • Level Billing - Entergy averages your bill over a rolling 12-month period so you have a consistent bill each month of the year. Pay about the same every month, with no surprises.
  • Pick-A-Date - Choose what day of the month you get billed to line up with your budget and manage your cash flow.

Although Entergy has temporarily suspended disconnections for nonpayment, it encourages customers to make payments on their accounts and will work directly with customers to make payment arrangements if they are unable to pay in full. Customers requiring such arrangements should call 1-800-ENTERGY (800-368-3749).

Click here for more about Entergy’s response to COVID-19.

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