Insights > Join Entergy in the Fight to Increase Assistance for Low-Income Customers
Join Entergy in the Fight to Increase Assistance for Low-Income Customers
Imagine a day where you must choose between paying your energy bill or getting your car fixed so you can get to work. Or a day where your elderly family member is forced to sit in the dark because she could not afford to pay for her health needs and her high summer electricity bill. This is the reality for some of Entergy’s low-income customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas who qualify for, but don’t receive assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
LIHEAP is a federal program that helps our low-income residents manage their heating and cooling costs when they experience unexpected hardships. However, only a small percentage of families who qualify for LIHEAP in our four-state service territory receive assistance. With underfunding and a practice that diverts funds to cold-weather states, millions of dollars are taken from warm-weather state customers in need and some of approximately 25% of Entergy customers who live in poverty.
According to 2017 data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:
- Of the 336,480 households that qualified for LIHEAP in Arkansas, only 25% received assistance
- Of the 609,045 households that qualified for LIHEAP in Louisiana, only 11% received assistance
- Of the 360,762 households that qualified for LIHEAP in Mississippi, only 11% received assistance
- Of the 2.6 million households that qualified for LIHEAP in Texas, only 5% received assistance
We are taking action during LIHEAP Action Month
Earlier this year, Entergy employees and community partners traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with congressional leaders and ask for better support of the program during LIHEAP Action Day. Now, through the end of August, Entergy representatives and partners, will visit congressional offices in our service area of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to advocate for better funding. They will also request that additional funds go to states that are not receiving their fair share.
Last year, Congress provided a $300 million increase for LIHEAP funding nationwide and addressed the longstanding funding issue to send more dollars to Entergy customers. Unfortunately, there is still a large population of customers who need assistance, especially when the frequency of severe weather continues to escalate, causing heating and cooling costs to increase beyond the means of our low-income neighbors.
Entergy believes that fighting poverty and helping to create lasting economic solutions to customers in need is a moral obligation and business imperative. You can help advocate for our low-income customers by urging your elected officials to protect LIHEAP and by donating to Entergy’s The Power to Care program. This program provides emergency bill payment assistance to our elderly and disabled customers in need. Customer and employee donations help fill in the gaps left by LIHEAP and offers one-time bill payment assistance to neighbors in need. All Power to Care contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Entergy’s shareholders, doubling the impact of your generous donation.
For more information about LIHEAP, please visit here.