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January 24, 2013

Energy fund accepting aid requests

ROWLEY — Rowley Municipal Light Plant, a sponsor of the 2012 –2013 Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund, and The Salvation Army, which administers the fund, are now accepting requests from qualified candidates.

A cooperative effort between the state’s energy companies, their customers and The Salvation Army, the Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps families in temporary crisis who do not qualify for federal or state assistance with the payment of their energy expenses. It is often a last resort for those families, its representatives said.

The fund’s 28th Annual “Give The Gift of Warmth” campaign’s goal is to raise $650,000 and help more than 2,000 families.

“With the recent colder temperatures in mind, the timing is certainly right to announce that the fund is now available to all candidates who qualify,” Daniel Folding, general manager of the Rowley Municipal Light Plant, said in a release.

Maj. Robert Goding of The Salvation Army’s divisional headquarters in Canton said his staff saw an increased urgency in need while processing the fund’s emergency cases in December. He expects that trend to continue throughout the winter.

Since its inception in 1985, the fund has raised more than $18.3 million and assisted more than 80,450 needy families.

To qualify for assistance, an applicant’s gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels. For example, a household size of two would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $40,893 and $54,524 to qualify. A household of four would need to have a yearly gross income of between $60,137 and $80,182 to qualify. This year’s fund disbursement is $350 per eligible household per heating season.

For more information on the fund and how to apply, visit a local Salvation Army Service Center or call 800-334-3047. Visit www.magoodneighbor.org for more.

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