The BrightRidge Board of Directors voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to donate another $60,000 including Tennessee Valley Authority Community Care Fund matching dollars to the Heisse Johnson Hand Up Fund assisting low-income residential customers with energy bills as the region heads into autumn.
With Tuesday’s vote, BrightRidge and TVA collectively have donated $120,000 in the last six months to the Hand up Fund, with a total of $260,000 available to assist low-income customers.
In 2019, customer and BrightRidge matching donations generated $113,253 for the Hand Up Fund. Annually, BrightRidge matches all Hand Up Fund customer donations up to $70,000.
“As a publicly-owned local power company, BrightRidge has stood for 75 years as a steadfast sponsor of regional growth and development,” Dykes said. “Our Board of Directors and TVA have stepped up repeatedly to assist in response to the impact of COVID-19. We want our customers and the region to know, we stand beside you as we meet this challenge together.”
Heisse Johnson program participants can receive utility payment assistance up to $300 each calendar year, up from $250 in 2019. In the previous 3 months, at least 199 families have been assisted through the expanded TVA Community Care Fund/BrightRidge Hand Up effort.
The late Rev. Dr. Heisse Johnson initiated the Hand Up Fund in 1989 in partnership with BrightRidge, Atmos Energy, Good Samaritan Ministries, the Salvation Army, and other community agencies. The program is administered by the United Way of Washington County and distributed to those in need via a screening process administered through the Salvation Army, Good Samaritan Ministries, and the Jonesborough Water Department.
BrightRidge also offers payment arrangements not provided by most public utilities, assisting customers with 13,390 payment arrangements in 2019. For more information on how to donate or access assistance programs, please phone BrightRidge Customer Service at 423.952.5000 or initiate a customer support Live Chat conversation at www.BrightRidge.com.