Energy Share Montana: Thirty Years & Running
Thirty Years and Running this heating season Energy Share of Montana, a private nonprofit organization, celebrates 30 years of helping Montanans who are experiencing energy emergencies. Since 1983 Energy Share has provided one-time help for people facing loss of heat or lights in their home due to unforeseen circumstances, and have no resources to pay for it themselves. In its first heating season Energy Share helped 681 Montana families; peaked at 3,161 in 2008, and last heating season helped 2,281 families. Examples of situations Energy Share helps with include households with high medical bills, fixed or lower incomes, the unemployed or under-employed, and many others. Energy Share contracts with the ten Human Resource Development Councils (HRDCs) around the state to process its applications. Since the HRDCs also work with the federally-funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) the partnership works well for people looking for help with their energy needs. “Over the last two heating seasons Energy Share helped 443 families in this area,” said Brian Steffen, CEO of Action for Eastern Montana in Glendive.
Energy Share provides a valuable resource for our lower-income population and we are glad to be a part of that network. Even though there are good-paying jobs in the area now due to the oil and gas fields, there are many, many people in our area whose income has not kept pace with the cost of living increase. We need Energy Share as much now as we ever have. Energy Share applications may be obtained at Action for Eastern Montana at 1-800-227-0703 or 377-3564. Normally applicants are asked to see if they qualify for LIEAP prior to applying for Energy Share, but the best course of action for someone in need is to contact the energy assistance office at Action for Eastern Montana and explain their situation. If you are interested in helping a neighbor in need, look for Energy Share donation envelopes or pledge cards in your utility bill or Rural Montana magazine in November. One hundred percent of private donations are used first in the area from which they came. Energy Share is a 501(c)(3) organization so donations are tax-deductible. For more information call Energy Share statewide office at 1-888-779-7589, or visit http://www.energysharemt.com