Nov. 17 2005 - Gastonia, N.C. - PSNC Energy is marking its 23rd year of sponsoring The Salvation Army Heat Care Fund by contributing $290,000 to the program, which provides assistance to needy, disabled and elderly individuals who need help in paying their energy bills. The natural gas utility has also earmarked an additional $20,000 to match donations from PSNC Energy customers and the general public. By winter's end, PSNC Energy expects its total contribution to Heat Care to reach $310,000.
"Rising energy costs are a concern for all consumers this winter but particularly for those struggling to make ends meet," said PSNC Energy President and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Richardson. "We know the need is going to be great this year, so we have significantly increased our annual Heat Care contribution, which, along with the state's efforts will provide assistance for low-income citizens.
The company's upfront contribution kicks off the heating assistance program, which began Nov. 1, 2005, and runs through May 31, 2006. PSNC Energy will match 50 cents for every dollar contributed by its customers or the general public, up to a maximum match of $20,000.
"With the anticipated increase in energy costs, PSNC Energy's generous support will allow us to continue our shared mission of helping families stay warm this winter," said Major Vern Jewett, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in North and South Carolina.
The Salvation Army Heat Care Fund was initiated by PSNC Energy in 1983 as a partnership between the utility and The Salvation Army. Funds are distributed by local Salvation Army agencies to needy residents living in PSNC Energy's service territory - regardless of the type of heating used. More than $1 million has been disbursed since the program began.
PSNC Energy customers can contribute to Heat Care by including a separate check -- made payable to The Salvation Army Heat Care Fund -- with their monthly natural gas bill payment. The general public may donate to the fund by dropping a check off at any local Salvation Army office or by mailing a check made payable to The Salvation Army Heat Care Fund to: Heat Care Fund, c/o PSNC Energy, 800 Gaston Road, Gastonia, NC 28056. All donations are tax deductible.
PSNC Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, is franchised to serve a 28-county service area in North Carolina and distributes natural gas to more than 405,000 winter-peak customers in 96 cities and communities ranging from the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas in the north central part of the state; the Concord, Statesville, Gastonia and Forest City areas in the Piedmont; to the Asheville, Hendersonville and Sylva areas in the western part of the state.