The Board of Directors, staff of Piedmont Electric and I are proud to announce important changes to project helping hand this fall. We have made the decision to upgrade Project Helping Hand from a program within Piedmont Electric’s operations into a standalone foundation called the Piedmont Electric Helping Hand Foundation.
While this foundation will continue to be supported by the members of Piedmont Electric, the updated structure will allow us to provide more financial support for community programs and increase our assistance to those in need throughout our service area.
The change that you will notice is your automatic enrollment in the funding of the program. This program, commonly referred to as a “round-up” program, rounds your monthly energy bill up to the nearest dollar, and the excess pennies are donated directly to the Helping Hand Foundation. For example, if your energy bill is $75.75, we’ll automatically round your bill up to $76.00 and donate $0.25 to the Helping Hand Foundation. On average, a member will donate around $6.00 per year, although your contribution could range from $0.00 to a maximum of $11.88 per year.
Beginning in October, all members will have their bills rounded up to the nearest dollar. These donations are tax-deductible and will appear as a line item on your monthly bill. The majority of the funds will be used to support local nonprofits and Piedmont Electric’s community outreach efforts such as grants to educators, youth leadership camps, college scholarships, the Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., and emergency preparedness efforts. Additionally, the Helping Hand Foundation will continue to support programs that help pay electric bills for families in need.
By automatically enrolling you, we have made it easy for you to support these programs. However, we understand that you may prefer to opt out and we want to make that an easy process too!
If you do not wish to round your bill to the nearest dollar to support this program, there are many ways to opt out.
You can fill out the online opt-out form by clicking here. There will also be opt-out forms mailed with monthly bills this summer and any of our member service representatives can help you opt out of the program by calling 800.222.3107.
If you opt out now, your bill will not be rounded up. After October, you can opt out of the program at any time and, if you wish, ask for a complete refund of the money you have contributed.
I’d like to thank all members who participated in the previous Project Helping Hand program over the years and have helped make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. With the full support of the members of Piedmont Electric, I know that the Helping Hand Foundation will continue to strengthen and support the needs of our community.
Stephen B. Hamlin