KeySpan is very concerned about the impact natural gas prices will have on our customers this heating season. With that in mind, we are working hard to help mitigate the cost of natural gas prices in several ways. We buy gas in the summer months when prices are lower; we use proactive hedging strategies to get the best price in the marketplace; and we encourage conservation and efficiency so energy is used wisely. It should be noted that KeySpan does not profit from the cost of natural gas, it is a pass through expense. We can only charge the customer what we pay for the commodity.
KeySpan promotes programs such as Balanced Billing, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and other programs and services to help educate customers on ways they can manage or get assistance with their energy costs. There are also cold weather protections in place for the elderly, blind or disabled, and those with a medical emergency or life support.
Despite these efforts, we realize this heating season poses an increased financial burden on customers due to record high energy prices. As a result, KeySpan is doing even more by implementing a plan designed to educate all customers about efficient energy use and identifying customers eligible for financial assistance programs and services. We mounted a newspaper campaign promote HEAP and other low-income programs. Our customer service representatives are receiving additional training with a focus on high bills, financial assistance, and payment arrangement policies. Our efforts also include letters to elected officials, customer bill inserts, presentations throughout local community organizations, and more.
In addition, to help those in need pay their heating bills, KeySpan is making a $1-million contribution to fuel funds in its service territory in New England and New York. Locally, funds are going to some of the most respected emergency assistance programs, such as the Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund, New Hampshire’s Fuel Assistance Programs and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay’s Special Fund.
We hope you can assist us as we do all we can to help our customers weather this challenging heating season. To sign up for home weatherization services, customers can call 1-800-292-2032, or for more information on available assistance programs, they can call our customer service line at 1-800-233-5325. Thank you for sharing this information with your readers.