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RED CROSS AND NYSEG ANNOUNCE NEW ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

NYSEG Provides $500,000 Contribution to Aid Customers Who Have Energy Emergencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Binghamton, NY, Wednesday, October 8, 2008 – The Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross and NYSEG today announced a new energy assistance program funded by a $500,000 contribution from NYSEG. Called the Matching Incentive Payment Program, it will aid NYSEG residential customers with energy emergencies across the company’s upstate service area. The American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter will administer the program in addition to continuing to administer Project SHARE, a joint NYSEG-Red Cross energy assistance program that has provided more than $5.5 million to nearly 30,000 grant recipients since 1982.

The new Matching Incentive Payment Program will provide grants of up to $600 to eligible NYSEG residential customers who are facing service disconnection due to nonpayment, and will match any additional payments customers make toward past-due amounts, up to $400. NYSEG residential electricity and natural gas customers whose household income is less than 8% above the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) income guidelines are eligible for the Matching Incentive Payment Program. 

“We’re pleased to be working with NYSEG to provide additional assistance to people with energy emergencies,” said Cindy Gordineer, CEO of the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Project SHARE has a 25-year tradition of helping customers with energy emergencies. This new Matching Incentive Payment Program goes one step further by expanding the eligible customer pool to include customers with incomes just above HEAP requirements, people who often get left out of traditional assistance programs but who are struggling nonetheless.”

“Establishing this new program through the strength of our existing partnership with the Red Cross will benefit our customers as we head into the heating season,” said Jim Laurito, president and CEO of NYSEG. “In particular, the new matching program will provide long-term financial benefits to those NYSEG customers who are able to make additional payments to NYSEG beyond the initial grant.”

More information about the Matching Incentive Payment Program is available at nyseg.com (click on “Your Account,” then “Pay Your Bill” and follow the “We’re here to help” or “Service and Assistance” links). To apply for a Matching Incentive Payment Program or Project SHARE grant, customers should contact their local Red Cross chapter.

While the Matching Incentive Payment Program is funded entirely through NYSEG’s $500,000 donation, Project SHARE is supported by contributions from NYSEG and its customers, employees and retirees. Contributions to Project SHARE can be made:

  • Through automatic giving at nyseg.com or by calling 1.800.572.1111 to have NYSEG add a whole dollar amount to your future NYSEG bills. 
  • By adding exactly $1, $2 or $5 to your next NYSEG bill payment. NYSEG will then forward the money to the American Red Cross.
  • By sending a check payable to “Project SHARE” to:
    Project SHARE
    c/o American Red Cross
    Southern Tier Chapter
    620 E. Main Street
    Endicott, NY 13760

About American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter: The Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross celebrates its 101st year of providing relief to victims of disasters, teaching lifesaving skills, and assisting military families and supporting the collection of life-saving blood products. The Southern Tier Red Cross, a charity and not a government agency, depends on voluntary contributions of time and money to perform its humanitarian mission in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga counties. For more information about the Red Cross, call 607.785.7207 or visit southerntierredcross.org.   

About NYSEG: NYSEG is a Rochester-based subsidiary of Energy East Corporation, a super-regional energy services and delivery company in the Northeast. We serve 872,000 electricity customers and 256,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. By providing outstanding customer service and meeting our customers’ energy requirements in an environmentally-responsible manner, we will continue to be a valuable asset to the communities we serve. For more information about NYSEG, visit nyseg.com.