KISSIMMEE, Fla., January 7, 2009 – A 58 percent increase in disbursements from Kissimmee Utility Authority’s energy assistance fund in 2008 is being attributed to the region’s recent economic downturn, the utility reported Wednesday.
Nearly $50,000 was dispersed through the Good Neighbor Energy Fund to help families in financial need pay their power bills. Slightly more than $31,000 was dispersed in 2007.
Customer donations to the fund, however, decreased by three percent in 2008.
The fund in 2008 received one-time contributions from the Black Business Council of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce and by utility employees who sold slices of pumpkin pie at Taste of Osceola, an annual food-tasting event, to benefit the fund.
KUA established its Good Neighbor Energy Fund in 1991 to provide assistance to customers who experience temporary financial hardship such as sudden illness, unexpected unemployment or a personal crisis. The fund is maintained through voluntary contributions from customers and employees of the utility.
To contribute to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, personal checks can be written to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund” and mailed to: Kissimmee Utility Authority, P.O. Box 423219, Kissimmee, FL 34742-3219. Additional details about the fund can be found online at http://www.kua.com/Community/Programs/GoodNeighbor.aspx.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent