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Blue Ridge Energy Announces Special COVID-19 Relief Fund
Through a new campaign called “In This Together”, Blue Ridge Energy is increasing its efforts to help provide critical financial assistance to members and customers served by the electric cooperative and its propane and fuels subsidiary amid coronavirus (COVID-19) job and wage losses.
Blue Ridge Energy has a long history of helping its members and customers. Recognizing the needs of many who are currently struggling, the cooperative established the “In This Together” campaign to provide unprecedented levels of crisis energy bill assistance.
In This Together is funded by Operation Round Up donations. To make a larger impact during this critical time of need, Blue Ridge Energy invites the public to join them in giving. Donations can be made securely online at BlueRidgeEnergy.com/Together; by calling us at 1-800-451-5474; or sending a check made payable to Blue Ridge Energy Members Foundation to PO Box 112, Lenoir, NC 28645.
In addition to the special campaign, Blue Ridge Energy is helping its members and customers of its Propane and Fuels subsidiary in other ways. The cooperative has not disconnected electric service from any member for the past two weeks since the pandemic crisis began—100 percent of members have electricity. Late fees have been waived and special payment plans are being offered, and Propane and Fuels is waiving fees for emergency deliveries. Additionally, all employees are working and should an outage occur, the cooperative is on full alert for a quick response for power restoration.
Blue Ridge Energy is also enabling members to donate all or a portion of their capital credits refund coming in May if they wish to do so. Some members will need these refunds for their own household but if you are a member who can give, Blue Ridge Energy can apply part or all of a members’ capital credits refund automatically to In This Together if the member contacts Blue Ridge Energy before April 20. To do so, go online to BlueRidgeEnergy.com/Together or call 1-800-451-5474, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
If you are a local household in Blue Ridge Energy’s service area needing assistance, please contact your local helping agency such as the Department of Social Services or We Can. These helping agencies are working with Blue Ridge Energy to qualify recipients and distribute the funds.
All Operation Round Up funding, which supports the Members Foundation, is fully committed to helping Blue Ridge Energy members and customers adversely affected by this pandemic.
“This is much bigger than a hurricane or an ice storm,” said Doug Johnson, chief executive officer of Blue Ridge Energy. “This will be a time of unprecedented need. We are all in this together and Blue Ridge Energy is doing everything we can to help during these unusual circumstances.”
Additional help Blue Ridge Energy is providing to members and customers:
- Suspension of electric disconnects for nonpayment as well as waiving electric late fees.
- Waiving of Propane and Fuels emergency delivery charges and late fees.
- Budget billing programs are encouraged to help spread usage costs over a 12 month period.
- Consider FlexPay. This is a pay-as-you-go option and also helps members to closely track electric usage and better manage bills.
- To avoid accumulating a large balance for your ongoing energy usage that will be difficult to pay off later, members and customers are encouraged to pay what they can. Special payment plans are available by calling your local Blue Ridge Energy office.
The Blue Ridge Energy Members Foundation is supported by Blue Ridge Energy members, subsidiaries and employees and 100 percent of all donations are returned to our communities through electric and fuel bill assistance and community grants. For 2020, all funding and new donations will be committed to the In This Together COVID-19 relief plan.