Money available through state program to pay overdue utility bills

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Money available through state program to pay overdue utility bills

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:58am -- tim

Limited Time to Apply for State Funding Assistance, $8 Million Available

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power is reaching out to customers to let them know they could qualify for free money from the State of Vermont that can help pay overdue utility bills tied to the pandemic. More than 23,000 GMP customers have balances older than 60 days for service after the pandemic began – mostly residential customers. Many utilities have voiced concern that the historic unemployment is resulting in crushing customer debt. At the beginning of the pandemic, Vermont instituted a moratorium on disconnects.

Lawmakers created the Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance program using $8 million in federal COVID relief funds to help Vermonters pay overdue electric, telephone, water, and natural gas balances at least 60 days overdue that were caused by the pandemic. In the first month since the program was announced, fewer than 2,000 utility customers have applied, while tens of thousands of Vermonters would be eligible for assistance. The program is run by the Vermont Department of Public Service.

“We want customers to know we are here for them, that this money through the state program can help them get caught up, and the time to apply is now. Tough economic times mean it is easier than ever to get behind on your bills, and it can be harder than ever to get caught up. We have suspended disconnections and taken several other steps since the pandemic to help customers, and we want to make sure everyone knows help is available,” said Mary Morris, manager of Customer Care at GMP.

The deadline to apply for assistance is November 30, 2020. You can learn the details to see if you qualify for the Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance program and start the application online at the Vermont Department of Public Service: 

https://publicservice.vermont.gov  or by calling 800-622-4496.

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).  J.D. Power’s 2018 and 2019 rankings put GMP among top utilities for customer satisfaction. In 2019 and 2020 GMP was named “One of the Best Places to Work in Vermont” by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and was the winner of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award in 2019.

Source: COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power 9.17.2020