July 30, 2021
Washington Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 8
40 Church Street
East Montpelier, VT 05651
Contact: Patty Richards, 802-223-5245
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Washington Electric Cooperative Urges Members with Overdue Bills
to Apply for State COVID Arrearage Grants
East Montpelier, Vt: Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC), a member-owned electric utility serving rural central Vermont, strongly encourages members overdue paying their bills to apply for support from VCAAP II, the 2021 Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program. This is the second round of state grants available to pay down the utilities arrearages of Vermonters facing pandemic-linked economic hardship. Residential accounts, including homeowners and tenants, may receive grants up to $10,000; business accounts may receive up to $50,000. The program helps pay Vermonters’ bills from utilities including electric, gas, landline, water, and sewer.
Accounts more than 30 days past due are eligible. Grants are awarded in the order received and the program is open until October 25, or earlier if funds run out. Be sure to read the application process guidelines carefully to ensure a successful application.
“The first round of VCAAP grants was a lifeline for many of our members,” said WEC General Manager Patty Richards. “Now, WEC is facing a quarter million dollars in unpaid bills. We need every member experiencing hardship to apply for these grants. It will help you get back on your feet, and it will reduce the rate pressure on your fellow members.”
When members’ bills go unpaid, explained Richards, the cooperative utility is forced to make up the deficit by raising rates. “We don’t want that,” she said. “It can be hard to ask, but this money is here to help you. Our Member Services team is here to help you through the application process.”
To reach WEC’s Member Services team with questions and application support, call 802-223-5245 or 1-800-932-5245.
VCAAP is administered by the Vermont Department of Public Service and is funded with the federal CARES Act and the State of Vermont Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Applications and information are available on Vermont’s Department of Public Service website under “Utility Bill Help for Businesses, Renters and Homeowners” at https://publicservice.vermont.gov. Questions can also be directed to the DPS through a toll-free call center phone number: 1-833-295-8988.
About Washington Electric Cooperative:
Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC) is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility founded in 1939. WEC serves approximately 10,800 member-owners in 41 towns throughout Washington, Orange, Caledonia and Orleans counties with power generated from 100 percent renewable sources. WEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information please visit washingtonelectric.coop or call 802-223-5245.