HCE to Offer $2 Million in Assistance for Members
Co-op establishes member assistance fund and distributes member equity checks
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO., April 27, 2020 — Due to the “Stay at Home” orders issued by state and local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many HCE members have had their work hours cut, lost their jobs, closed their businesses, or are not working in order to take care of loved ones. Many HCE members are therefore unable to pay their utility bills in part or in full and are in risk of financial jeopardy even after the “Stay at Home” orders are lifted in the future.
To help these members through this difficult time, HCE will be providing members with two million dollars in assistance with the following programs:
Member Equity Checks. As a member-owned cooperative, HCE can share excess revenue, or profits, with members in the form of annual member equity checks. After closing the books on 2019, the HCE Board of Directors has once again decided to provide $1.5 million dollars in member equity in mid-May rather than holding those funds for future use by the cooperative. The amount of each Member’s check is based on last year’s consumption. If the amount is less than $10, members will receive the funds in the form of a bill credit.
HCE Member Assistance Fund. In April, the HCE Board of Directors approved an additional $500,000 in unclaimed Member Equity for Members who will need extra assistance in paying their bills. Starting May 1, if a member cannot pay a delinquent HCE electric bill that was sent after March 12, they can receive a bill credit to go towards that bill. Each qualifying member will be eligible for up to five months worth of bill credits between now and the end of the year, or until the funds are depleted.
Members will only be required to self-certify online or in writing that they are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Members can call 970.945.5491 or visit holycross.com/covid-bill-payment-assistance/ for further program information and to apply for funding.
“These past weeks have been among the most tumultuous and emotional that any of us can remember. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has been felt by everyone in our community,” says Bryan Hannegan, President and CEO of HCE. “Our purpose as a co-op is to serve our community by keeping the lights on and offering assistance wherever we can. We want our Members to know we are here for them.”
In addition, all community members can also reach out to Catholic Charities at 970.384.2060 in Garfield and Pitkin Counties or Salvation Army at 970.948.0704 in Eagle County for payment assistance. Homes heated by electricity may also be eligible for assistance from the Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) at 866-432-8435.
Founded in 1939, Holy Cross Energy is a not-for-profit rural electric cooperative that provides safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy and services that improve the quality of life for almost 44,000 members and their communities in Western Colorado. We are committed to leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future. For more information on HCE, please visit https://www.holycross.com.