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BELD Opens This Year's Energy Fund to Help Customers Who Need Assistance

The Braintree Electric Light Department has operated as a nonprofit public utility company for 119 years.

The (BELD), a sponsor of the 2011/12 Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF) campaign, and The Salvation Army, administrator of the Fund, announce that the Fund is now open to all qualified candidates.

A cooperative effort between the state's energy companies, their customers and The Salvation Army, GNEF helps families in temporary crisis – who do not qualify for federal or state assistance – with the payment of their energy expenses.

“With the struggling economy in mind, we are pleased to announce that the Good Neighbor Energy Fund is now available to all candidates who qualify for assistance,” said Municipal Light Board chairman Jim Regan during a recent meeting with Vice Chair Tony Agnitti and Secretary Tom Reynolds.

The Salvation Army’s Major Robert Goding added, “We saw a high ‘urgency of need’ as we processed the emergency cases in December, and requests for assistance will most certainly continue to rise throughout the coming months as the colder temperatures move in.”

Goding added that the Fund has raised more than $17.7 million and assisted over 78,600 needy families since its inception in 1985.

The Fund is often the last resort for families who have not qualified for federal and state assistance programs. To qualify for assistance from the Fund, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels.

For example, a household size of two would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $40,824 and $54,432 to qualify. A household of 4 would need to have a yearly income of between $60,035 and $80,047 to qualify, etc. This year's Fund disbursement is $350 per eligible household per heating season.

Braintree residents who wish to support the Fund can “Give the Gift of Warmth” by using the mint-colored Good Neighbor Energy Fund donation envelope found as an insert in their January electric bill.

Customers can also make a donation by visiting www.magoodneighbor.org, calling 800.SAL.ARMY, or simply mailing a check payable to “The Good Neighbor Energy Fund” and sending it to The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters
at 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, Massachusetts, 02021-1408.

For more information on the Fund and how to apply for assistance, visit your local Salvation Army Service Center or call 800.334.3047.

For 119 years BELD has been a nonprofit public power utility owned and operated by the citizens of Braintree. BELD Broadband offers affordable high-speed Internet, cable television and phone service to Braintree residents and businesses.

–BELD

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