Utility Bill Assistance



First Choice Power Care to Share assistance program

First Choice Power Care to Share is a short term, emergency utility bill assistance program that uses donated funds from residential as well as commercial customers. All of the money that is collected goes to help needy customers pay a portion of their energy bills, and it gives them the ability to keep their power on while they find other options.

The energy company works closely with non-profits and charities on administering this program. Partners include the Salvation Army as well as United Way among others. They help spread the word on First Choice Power Care to Share (both to potential donors) and also to low income families that may need utility bill assistance. The partners also help process applications, and ensure the funds go to only qualified customers that are facing a crisis.

This service was created with one goal in mind; that is to help families and individuals who use First Choice Power for their electricity, heat, or gas. Unfortunately customers face economic hardships from time to time, and this program can offer relief. The applicant also needs to have some form of short term difficulty with paying their utility bills; it is an emergency service only. Some of the applicants can also be close to having their utility service shut off.

All of the donated money raised through Care to Share will be used wisely. It only goes to screened, approved, and otherwise qualified individuals. The funds will also make a positive impact on their life's, as it helps customers and the greater community as well. The way it helps the community is the financial assistance stay local; it does not cross over to some state or federal benefit program.

Donations as part of the one time or round up process

First of all, the program is open to all different types of customers. Individuals can donate as well as industrial or commercial customers. There are even contributions that come from employees of First Choice Power as well as management at the company. All donations are tax deductible as well (at least per current IRS rules). Care to Share will not decline any funds if someone or some business wants to give back! But is it voluntarily, and even if someone were to sign up to donate, they can cancel it at any time.




When signing up for Round Up, what happens is the monthly utility bill is rounded up to the next whole dollar amount. The extra, rounded up amount, is then added to the Care to Share donation program. This takes place month in an month out. So as a real life example, say the energy bill for a month is $47.75. In that case, First Choice Power would "round up" the amount to $48.00. That is how much the customer needs to pay that month.

The added 25 cents collected goes to donation program. While it may not seem like much, when hundreds of customers contribute small amounts of money each month, all of those funds go to help pay utility and heating bills of the less fortunate. Potentially thousands of dollars can go towards offering utility and energy bill help as part of the contributions. In addition, that 25 cents is also tax deductible.

Note one common question is does the monthly utility bill round up even if the cents amount is less than 50. And the answer to that is yes, $47.01 bill and a $47.99 will also both round up to $48.00. Once again, both examples are tax deductible and all that extra money goes to paying energy bills.

For more information on the First Choice Power Care to Share service, call 866-469-2464.


By: Jon McNamara


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