Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten Assistance to Nearly 62,000 Texas Households
Beaumont, Texas – Entergy Texas, Inc.
is joining forces with other low-income advocates in Washington, DC, this week
to urge Congress to find $5.1 billion for America''s front-line energy assistance
program. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income citizens
pay utility bills for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Mary Young, senior customer
operations support specialist for Entergy Texas, is on hand to represent the
company, along with employees from Entergy’s other utility companies.
According to a new study from Indiana
University, tough economic times have driven millions of Americans into poverty
in recent years and those numbers will increase even as the economy rebounds.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Texas as tied for America’s fourth-highest poverty
rate in the nation with roughly 4.4 million Texans living at or below the
poverty level. Meanwhile, LIHEAP funding has been reduced by nearly 40 percent
over the last two years.
“If LIHEAP funding is cut as
proposed, it will mean nearly 62,000 fewer families will be served in Texas,”
said Vernon Pierce, customer service director, Entergy Texas, Inc. “We’ve got to
do all we can to help our neighbors and fellow Texans find the means to pay for
essential heating and cooling.”
Although LIHEAP prioritizes families
with preschoolers, elderly or disabled members, many U.S. veterans and their
families need LIHEAP. In fact, 20 percent of LIHEAP households are veterans, and
in some cases, the families of active-duty service men and women.
Entergy employees and charitable
groups are participating in the National Fuel Funds Network’s Action Day for Low
Income Home Energy Assistance Program to call for more funding at the federal
level. Entergy has many programs designed to meet the needs of its low-income
customers including The Power to Care Fund made up of contributions from
customers, employees, and shareholders. However, even with these programs and
charitable organizations, the needs still outpace available resources.
“We and many others are asking
Congress to provide $5.1 billion for LIHEAP,” Pierce said. “Families in
vulnerable situations are turning to LIHEAP in record numbers to make it through
these still tough times."
Citizens can stay connected to the
discussion and can even sign an online petition in support of LIHEAP funding by
and clicking on “LIHEAP Action Day”.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides
electricity to more than 400,000 in 27 counties. Entergy Corporation is an
integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and
retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with
approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the
second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers
electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
Twitter: @ EntergyTX