‘Good Neighbor Program’ helps qualifying residents to reduce their utility bills

‘Good Neighbor Program’ helps qualifying residents to reduce their utility bills
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 3:40 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - Some struggling families with high-power costs turn to a local Salvation Army which has a program to help those who qualify reduce their utility bills.

According to EnergySage.com, Massachusetts residents are paying six cents more than the national average on energy bills this year.

The “Good Neighbor Energy Program” helps residents with temporary financial setbacks and need help with their monthly energy expenses.

Social Services Director for the Springfield Salvation Army Danielle said, “We provide energy assistance to families in need the individuals and families that come to the salvation army are those that fall into the state, median income level meaning their hard-working individuals, but they just need a little help, especially with the increase in electric and gas cost, oil costs.”

To qualify for the “Good Neighbor Program,” families must fit the income requirements listed on the Good Neighbor Energy Funds website.

Lataille explained the Salvation Army has made the sign-up process as simple as possible, “We do require just a couple of things, the make-up of the household. The proof of income we try to keep it very simple so either 2022 W-2 or a current month’s worth of 2023 income in pay stubs and a recent bill and that’s really it.”

In 2022, the M.A. Good Neighbor Energy Fund helped more than 1,175 families pay an energy bill, stated the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Fund.

“We know many of our families are working, so we try to provide a variety of different office hours. We also allow individuals to email their information so it can be done virtually and is convenient for our clients,” said Lataille.

Lataille expressed that this program is lending a helping hand and a few spare dollars to people who need help with their power bills, “many people are unaware they qualify for assistance, she hopes by getting the word out about the funds, Western Mass residents will be able to turn up the heat this winter while relieving the pain in their pocketbooks.”