Nov 25, 2003
PPL's Operation HELP -- a successful partnership that involves PPL, community agencies and the people of eastern and central Pennsylvania -- has given much-needed assistance to 50,000 area households over the past 20 years.
The program helps pay heating bills for people who might otherwise be unable to pay because of unemployment, disability or large medical expenses.
"Operation HELP makes a difference in the lives of families struggling with financial hardships," said Tim Dahl, manager of Regulatory Programs for PPL Electric Utilities.
"We have raised nearly $13 million through donations from PPL customers, employees and the company," he said. "It's a tribute to the generosity of people in eastern and central Pennsylvania, and proof of what can be accomplished by working together to address community needs."
Customer contributions -- most in the form of an extra $1, $2 or $5 that people add to their electric bill payments each month -- have accounted for about 45 percent of the $13 million raised. All of that money has gone back into the community to help neighbors in need. No contributions are used for administrative or promotional costs.
"Another reason we are able to celebrate the program's success is the work of 14 agencies across eastern and central Pennsylvania that interview applicants and distribute funds," Dahl said. "They make sure that assistance goes to people who need it most."
(A list of the agencies that administer Operation HELP is included at the end of the news release.)
Nearly half of the households that have received Operation HELP assistance this year have annual income of less than $18,000, he said. About 70 percent had children under the age of 18. The grants, which may be as much as $500 but average around $270, go directly to energy companies for the payment of heating bills.
Financial assistance from Operation HELP supplements the federal government's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which PPL strongly supports as an effective safety net that helps thousands of low- income families get through the long Pennsylvania winter.
"The return of cold weather reminds us of the need for programs such as Operation HELP and LIHEAP," Dahl said. "The 50,000-customer milestone for Operation HELP is an appropriate occasion to say thanks to the donors and the agencies that have made the program so successful over the last 20 years."
PPL Electric Utilities is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation controls about 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
Operation HELP Administering Agencies and Counties Served Agency Counties Served Carbon County Action Committee for Carbon Human Resources Christian Churches United Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Perry, York Columbia County Department of Human Services Columbia Commission on Economic Opportunity of Luzerne Luzerne County Community Action Committee of the Bucks, Lehigh, Lehigh Valley Northampton Community Action Program of Lancaster County Lancaster, Berks, Chester, Lebanon Montour County Department of Human Services Montour Open Line Montgomery Salvation Army, East Stroudsburg Monroe Salvation Army Citadel Corps, Scranton Lackawanna Schuylkill Community Action Schuylkill, part of Northumberland STEP Inc. Clinton, Lycoming TREHAB Inc. Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming Union-Snyder Community Action Agency Snyder, Union, part of Northumberland
SOURCE: PPL Electric Utilities
CONTACT: George Lewis, PPL Corporation, +1-610-774-5997, or Fax:
Web site: http://www.pplweb.com/