[Randy Pinocci] One of the biggest worries for senior citizens and low-income Montanans is the cost of heating their homes in the cold winter months. Energy Share of Montana is one of the greatest resources to help those in need in all 56 counties. From 2017-2018, This private nonprofit corporation provided more than $1.1 million in assistance to nearly 3,000 households. With nearly every Montanan negatively impacted by coronavirus and the governor’s shutdown orders, it is more important than ever that people know there is assistance when they need it most.
Applying for assistance is easy through www.EnergyShareMT.org. If you have trouble navigating the website, or do not have internet access, you can call Energy Share directly at 888-779-7589 or the Public Service Commission’s consumer assistance hotline at 800-646-6150 and we are happy to help you navigate the process.
If you reach out to the PSC’s consumer assistance hotline, they can also let you know about any other potential assistance programs you may potentially qualify for.
Between election season and the holiday season, we are all inundated with calls from strangers who want donations. I can personally testify that one of the greatest places you can give money is Energy Share of Montana. So often, charities make the news because it is revealed that only a small percent of each contribution goes for its intended purpose. That is not the case with this great organization. In a recent report, ninety-four percent of the money allocated to this program went to direct consumer assistance.
For those who do not need assistance, but want to help those in need, you can make a direct contribution to Energy Share on their website. One hundred percent of direct, private contributions are used for energy bill assistance.
As I travel our entire state, it is surprising to know how many people do not know what the Public Service Commission does, let alone who their commissioner is. Helping you get the assistance you need is just one of the many things my staff and I can do for you.
If you ever have any questions or concerns about the Montana Public Service Commission or need assistance, please contact me directly. My personal email address is Pinocci@3rivers.net and my personal cell phone number is 406-231-3649 and I will respond to your message. Speaking with my constituents is one of the best ways for me to continue working to keep your energy rates low.
[Editor’s Note: This op-ed was provided by MT Public Service Commissioner, Randy Pinocci]