ATLANTA, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power's Energy Assistance team remains a trusted voice in the community to help those most in need make their monthly bill payments. During 2020, the company's efforts increased dramatically through employee training, expanded community partnerships, increased funding and improved coordination. The efforts led to an 82 percent increase in the number of customers helped through the company's energy assistance portal, an innovative online system designed to help connect assistance resources and customers.
"Our team has recognized the extraordinary burden our customers have faced and have worked incredibly hard to expand our energy assistance capabilities," said Danny Johnson, energy assistance manager at Georgia Power. "In 2019, our energy assistance portal was able to help connect nearly 4,600 customers with payment resources of approximately $728,000, while in 2020, we were able to increase payment aid to more than 8,300 customers exceeding $1,918,000."
By partnering with community, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, as well as Georgia Power's Customer Care, Corporate Relations, and Energy Efficiency teams and the Georgia Power Foundation, the company is able to provide a safety net for customers in need. These customers include those that are elderly, experiencing a one-time or ongoing special need, in lower income brackets, and individuals impacted by the pandemic. Through these partnerships, Georgia Power was able to support thousands of families in the last year through community resources, programming, direct funding and private donations.
Growing Resources; Expanding Capabilities Since 2020, Georgia Power's Energy Assistance team has trained 450 employees to provide proactive communication to customers and community partners on special payment options to pay past-due balances accumulated during the pandemic. Last year, the team also added 500 community partner organizations to their directory, nearly 300 COVID-19 resources and 10,000 faith-based resources to support customers across the state. Additionally, the team works closely with customers who need assistance regarding CARES Act funding and Spanish-language support.
The Energy Assistance team's partnership with community organizations helps connect qualified customers to available assistance programs including:
Home Energy Efficiency Assistance Program (HEEAP) – Georgia Power customers have the opportunity to contribute funds to help make energy efficiency improvements for income-qualifying residents in their own community that will be added to funding provided by Georgia Power. These upgrades may include air sealing of gaps, cracks and leaks, sealing of heating and air delivery ducts, attic insulation, HVAC service and repair, LED light bulbs, smart/ wi-fi thermostat, and electric water heater blanket and pipe wrap. Customers can donate on a statewide level, or focus giving to a specific region of the state at www.georgiapower.com/HEEAPDonor.
Georgia Power's Income-Qualified Senior Citizen Discount – Georgia Power customers 65 years of age or older who meet the income requirements for eligibility can receive up to $24 a month off their bill.
The Salvation Army's Project SHARE – Established in partnership with The Salvation Army, Georgia Power customers can provide assistance to residents in the same community for expenses, such as utility bills, housing, food and medical necessities. Customers can donate $1, 2, 5 or $10 on their monthly bill to support their neighbors in need. Georgia Power matches $1.50 for each dollar donated up to $1.5 million.
About Georgia Power Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is recognized by J.D. Power as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).