LENOIR — Blue Ridge Energy has announced plans to continue and expand helping electric members struggling to pay utility bills as the state’s suspension of utility disconnections and late fees ends after Executive Order 124, which went into effect in March and was extended to July 29 by Executive Order 142, expires.
Blue Ridge Energy is helping members by providing the following:
- Extending the grace period for disconnections and late fees for electric members until October.
- To help avoid disconnection or late fees at that time, Blue Ridge Energy asks members with past due account balances to contact the cooperative by Aug. 31. Call 1-800-451-5474 to set up individual payment plans to spread out large balances over time.
- Crisis energy bill assistance is available through In This Together, the cooperative’s COVID-19 Relief fund. To apply, contact a local helping agency listed on
Blue Ridge Energy began suspending disconnections and late fees even before EO 124 went into effect in March. The cooperative’s In This Together Relief fund has awarded over $115,000 in crisis energy bill assistance to its electric members and propane and fuels customers during this time.
“Blue Ridge Energy understands the impact COVID-19 has had on many local households and is asking members of the cooperative and customers of the propane and fuels subsidiary who are experiencing payment difficulties to contact Blue Ridge Energy now for assistance,” said Renee Whitener, director of public relations.
“We appreciate the many members and customers who have been able to keep their accounts current during this crisis but many have not been as fortunate,” said Blue Ridge Energy Chief Executive Officer Doug Johnson. “Some households will feel the impact of lost income for months to come,” he explained. “Our In This Together fund is here to help. We also encourage those who can to join us in donating to this fund. It’s needed now more than ever,” said Johnson.
To learn more or for those wishing to donate to the fund, more information is available at: www.blueridgeenergy.com/community/in-this-together.
Blue Ridge Energy serves some 76,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties as well as parts of Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. Its propane and fuels subsidiary serves customers in these areas as well as in Burke and Catawba counties and Grayson County, Va.