Insights > When the Going Gets Tough, Entergy Texas has The Power to Care
When the Going Gets Tough, Entergy Texas has The Power to Care
Sixty-year-old Barry Shuster arrived at his machinery operations job one morning in May, only to receive an unexpected pink slip. The company he worked for had gone out of business.
With bills piling up and the summer heat already underway, he turned to the Community Assistance Center in Conroe to see if they could help.
Indeed, they could. Shuster qualified for The Power to Care program and got help paying his utility bill. The Power to Care is a program funded by Entergy, its employees and customers that provides temporary financial assistance to help make ends meet.
“I had talked to some people who used it, who had been in the same situation I was, so I said I’ll give it a try,” Shuster said. “It helped me out. It took some of the stress off me.”
Shuster was relieved to get help. He is still looking for employment. In the meantime, he’s working to keep his electric bills low by keeping the lights turned off, using a window air conditioner with fans to circulate cool air and use only the basic appliances he needs.
“It’s been so hot, we have to sit in the living room to stay cool in the middle of the day. I put on as few lights as possible,” he said. “You don’t realize how much you have come to depend on electricity. My whole house is electric, so I have to keep the electricity on.”
Jennifer Landers, executive director of the Community Assistance Center, said The Power to Care is a very important program that helps a variety of clients, from senior citizens living on fixed incomes to people who have a one-time crisis such as a disabled vehicle or the loss of a job.
“They’re facing having to choose between food and utilities, or prescriptions and utilities, or rent and utilities,” she said. “We never want them to borrow from another pot to pay for something. We really just want to keep them stable and make them not have to choose whether to keep the electricity on when it’s 102 degrees.
“It’s a wonderful program where we can give back to our neighbors and help them with one of their most basic of needs,” Landers added.
The Power to Care raised more than $500,000 and provided utility bill assistance for more than 2,300 customers in 2018. Fifteen agencies offer the program throughout the Entergy Texas service area.
Customers can contribute to The Power to Care through their electric bills, MyAccount online or by mailing in a check with their account number to The Power to Care Contributions Processing Center, P.O. Box 24568, Jackson, MS 39225-4568. There are no administrative fees, so 100 percent of all contributions go to help those in need.
Entergy shareholders also match contributions, doubling the impact of your donations. In 2018, that amounted to $130,681! Donations are tax deductible, and a summary of donations to The Power to Care will be included in your January bill for tax reporting purposes.
“To me, that’s just another way we can help our neighbors,” Landers said. “It doesn’t have to be a huge check -- it can, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be just a little bit and that adds up.”
Other information about utility bill assistance and ways to save can be found at http://www.entergytexas.com/summer.