The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund’s sponsoring energy companies and its administrator, United Way of Rhode Island, today announced the Fund is available to all eligible households in the state impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Fund assists households in financial difficulty, including individuals laid off, furloughed or out of business due to the coronavirus, with the payment of their home energy expenses.

The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a safety net for households in crisis who are having trouble paying their energy bills.  Households in need of energy assistance are encouraged to call their local Community Action Program (CAP) agency to determine if they qualify for the Fund.  The CAPs determine household eligibility for the Fund based on total household income not exceeding 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a household of four is eligible for the Fund if its annual income does not exceed $77,250 while a household of six cannot exceed $103,770.  Grants to individual households are determined by fuel type and need with grant amounts up to $650 per heating season.

“The Fund can be a source of relief to those eligible households who are experiencing a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Terry Sobolewski, Chairperson of the 2020 Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund and President of National Grid Rhode Island in a press release.  “We urge all Rhode Island households to dial 2-1-1, United Way’s 24-hour call center, if they are looking for general information about the Good Neighbor Energy Fund or need help identifying their local CAP agency to determine eligibility.”

In addition to the various giving programs of Fund sponsors – Block Island Utility District, National Grid, Ocean State Power, Pascoag Utility District, Petro Home Services and RISEC LP – the campaign relies on the generosity of individuals, families and local corporations for support.  Rhode Islanders most often donate to the Fund via the yellow donation envelopes that are enclosed with energy bills through the end of February.

Those interested in donating to the Fund to assist those impacted by the coronavirus can also visit or send a check payable to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund” to Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, c/o United Way of Rhode Island, 50 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02909-2459.