CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Duke Energy Foundation has announced a $150,000 donation to support low-income customers in North Carolina who are struggling to pay their utility bills during the COVID-19 crisis.
The funds will be provided to approximately 600 households through the company's Energy Neighbor Fund and Share the Warmth programs. Funds can assist with heating or cooling costs.
"We recognize the financial toll this crisis is having on customers and we're finding ways to provide support," said Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "We'll continue to support our communities as the crisis unfolds, and we want our customers to know we're here to help."
Greensboro Urban Ministry is an agency partner for the company's Share the Warmth program. "For the families who come to the Greensboro Urban Ministry for help, the COVID-19 crisis is also a financial crisis," said Tyra Clymer, Emergency Assistance Director. "Share the Warmth funds help our most vulnerable neighbors during these difficult times."
The Energy Neighbor Fund (Duke Energy Progress) and Share the Warmth (Duke Energy Carolinas) programs are long-standing initiatives of the company and provide heating and cooling bill assistance to customers during the year through various social service agencies and nonprofit organizations. The $150,000 donation will be evenly split between the two programs.
"These are challenging times, and contributions such as these are crucial to helping alleviate the difficulties many are facing," said Tara Myers, North Carolina's deputy secretary for human services. "We appreciate our partners across the state coming together at this time to lessen the financial impact many are facing due to COVID-19."
The Duke Energy Foundation previously announced $1.3 million in support of COVID-19 relief across the company's jurisdictions, including $900,000 to support hunger relief and help local health and human services nonprofits in North Carolina. With this additional investment in bill assistance, the Duke Energy Foundation has invested more than $1 million in direct COVID-19 relief in North Carolina. The Foundation has also provided flexibility for grantees to apply program-specific grants to their emerging COVID-19 needs.
In addition to support from the Duke Energy Foundation, the company has already announced a number of steps it's taking to relieve the financial burden of COVID-19 on all customers, including suspending disconnections due to nonpayment, waiving late-payment charges and waiving returned payment/check fees, among others.
Duke Energy Foundation The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2020 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.