HALIFAX – Low-income seniors and families will get the help they need to stay warm in their home this winter through the Salvation Army's Good Neighbour Energy Fund.
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell announced today, Nov. 21, the province is providing $400,000 to ensure families and seniors can keep the heat on in their homes throughout the winter season.
"We know that some seniors and families worry about being able to pay their heating bill over the winter," said Mr. MacDonell. "No family should have to make the choice between keeping the heat on or put food the table. By working together with the Salvation Army and Nova Scotia Power, more low-income seniors and families can feel better knowing that if things get difficult, they have the help needed to keep the heat on and stay warm in their own home this winter."
The Good Neighbour Energy Fund helps with all forms of home heating, including firewood, coal, oil, propane and electricity, although the majority of requests are for oil and electricity. The benefit is paid as a credit to an energy supplier's account on behalf of the person receiving fuel. Last winter, more than 2,000 low-income Nova Scotians across the province received home-heating help from the Good Neighbour Energy Fund.
"We are grateful for the announcement today that the province will support the Good Neighbour Energy Fund for the sixth consecutive year," said Maj. Doug Hefford, divisional commander, The Salvation Army. "This donation is significant as it will assist numerous Nova Scotia families facing emergency heating situations this coming winter season. We value our partnership with the government and how it helps us continue to support Nova Scotians in need."
The Good Neighbour Energy Fund was started 15 years ago by Nova Scotia Power employees.
"We're proud to again support the Good Neighbour Energy Fund with a donation of $150,000," said Claudette Porter, vice-president, finance and information technology, Nova Scotia Power. "We first became involved because our employees saw the need, and wanted to help Nova Scotians who struggle with heating costs. We continue to support the work of the fund in helping families during the coldest winter months."
The province began making an annual donation in 2008. The Good Neighbour Energy Fund runs from January to April. Application forms will be available in January at www.salvationarmy.ca/maritime/gnef/, MLA offices, and Salvation Army Churches and Thrift Stores.
The province has also removed the provincial portion of the HST from home heating bills, which helps all Nova Scotians and, since November 2011, more than 51,000 Nova Scotia families have been helped through HARP, the Heating Assistance Rebate Program.
For more information on the Your Energy Rebate and the Heating Assistance Rebate Program, visit www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr .