Hopelink Helped PSE Customers with Nearly $3 Million in Bill-Payment Assistance

Federal and PSE energy assistance programs help provide needed assistance to North and East King County households

BELLEVUE, Wash. – From October 2009 through July 2010, Hopelink awarded nearly $3 million in federal and Puget Sound Energy-funded grants to PSE customers living in North and East King County and needing assistance to pay their energy bills.

Over the 10-month period, Hopelink issued grants to more than 7,000 PSE customers from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, and from PSE’s Home Energy Lifeline Program, or HELP.

“We are pleased that the funding of both LIHEAP and HELP made a difference for our neighbors who needed assistance with paying their energy bills, especially during these tough economic times,” said Patrick Lawlor, Energy Programs manager.

Depending on income and household size, a qualified low-income PSE customer can receive bill credits totaling up to $1,000 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and $1,000 from PSE’s Home Energy Lifeline Program, or HELP. Each program’s average grant amounted to approximately $400 per household.

Hopelink is one of 12 community action agencies serving residents in PSE’s 11-county Washington state service area. More than 59,000 qualified low-income PSE customers throughout the utility’s area received grants totaling nearly $25 million—$13.5 million in LIHEAP and $11.3 million in HELP.

For more information about PSE’s bill-payment assistance programs, please visit PSE.com.

About Hopelink

Since 1971, Hopelink has provided comprehensive social services to at-risk families and individuals throughout Washington’s north and east King County region. The Hopelink approach—promoting self-sufficiency to create lasting personal and community change—has helped move tens of thousands of people from vulnerability and crisis to independence and stability. The agency has broadened its focus through the years from emergency intervention to include the longer term support needed by at-risk families and individuals to make lasting change. Today, Hopelink provides a full array of critical social services through more than 40 different programs, including housing, transportation, case management, financial assistance, employment programs, adult education and literacy training, a vast referral network, and five food banks. www.hope-link.org

About Puget Sound Energy

Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its growing customer base through incremental, cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service and delivering energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.

Contact information:

Hopelink, Glen Miller
425-869-6025

Puget Sound Energy, Abigail Elliott
1-888-831-7250, PSENewsroom@pse.com