Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) has partnered with Versant Power for Power Match, a charitable matching program that will provide electricity bill credits to customers in need. Versant Power has agreed to match all donations up to $200,000 and has provided an additional $60,000 seed fund to begin helping their customers immediately.
Power Match will be facilitated and administered through community action programs in Versant Power’s service area. These programs include ACAP, Penquis, and Downeast Community Partners (DCP). Of the $60,000 seed fund, each community action program has received $20,000. The matching fund amount of $200,000 will be distributed amongst the three programs based on donations received through their individual donation portals.
“We are grateful to Versant Power for stepping forward with this much needed support for the most vulnerable members of our community at a time when the need is greatest. Additionally, their challenge will help inspire others to contribute with the knowledge that their donation will be matched and help us to assist more households County-wide,” said Jason Parent, ACAP Executive Director/CEO. “Partnerships, such as this one with a leading community business, are critical to helping us meet the unmet needs that have grown exponentially in the current economic climate.”
Last year, 20 percent of Americans struggled to pay their energy bill in full at least once. Low-income households face a disproportionately higher energy burden. According to DOE's Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool the national average energy burden for low-income households is 8.6%, three times higher than for non-low-income households, which is estimated at 3%. In some areas, depending on location and income, energy burden can be as high as 30%.
Many customers within Versant Power’s service area do not qualify for low-income assistance based on income eligibility guidelines, but still need help with utility bills. Power Match will aim to reduce this gap by providing bill credits to customers who exceed income eligibility guidelines for programs such as the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), but still require emergency assistance.
“Versant is committed to supporting our neighbors in the communities where we live and serve and finding new ways to meet challenges that can impact us all,” said Kendra Overlock, Vice President, Customer Service & Communications at Versant Power. “We are confident our local agency partners are well positioned to deliver assistance where it is needed, especially for those who may be struggling to make ends meet during the cold winter months.”
ACAP, Penquis, and DCP will determine who should receive a bill credit under eligibility guidelines they have established and share those details with Versant Power, who will credit customers’ bills with an amount determined by the community action program.
To donate, please visit www.acap-me.org/getinvolved/donate/. For more information and to find out if you qualify for Power Match, please contact us at 207-768-3053. You can also follow ACAP on Facebook (ACAP-Aroostook County Action Program) or Instagram (Aroostookcap) and follow Versant Power on Twitter (@versantpower), Instagram (versantpower) or LinkedIn for updates.