Emergency Aid For Energy Bills Available Starting Thursday

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund helped six Sharon families between Nov. 1, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2011.

With winter coming soon, Sharon residents may get emergency help paying their energy bills starting Thursday.

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund will be available to qualified households statewide, based on "urgency of need," according to the Salvation Army, which administers the campaign.

The fund will open to all qualified candidates on Jan. 2, the agency said in a press release today.

The fund is "a cooperative effort between the state's energy companies, their customers and The Salvation Army," and "helps families in temporary crisis who do not qualify for federal or state assistance with the payment of their energy expenses," the agency said.

"To qualify for assistance from the Fund, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels. This year's Fund disbursement is $350 per eligible household per heating season," the agency said.

The fund received applications from six Sharon families between Nov. 1, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2011, spokesman David Hughes said.

These applications represent 18 Sharon residents, he said. Five of these residents were over age 60. Four were under age 18. These households received $300 each, a total of $1,800 coming into the town, Hughes said.


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