MA Good Neighbor Energy Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund?

A. The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a cooperative effort between Massachusetts energy companies and The Salvation Army of Massachusetts that provides energy assistance to those in temporary crisis.

Q. If there are other programs available, why is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund needed?

A. The federal and state energy assistance funds have strict income guidelines that disqualify many people who, because of unexpected circumstances, experience a temporary need for assistance.

Q. Where does the Good Neighbor Energy Fund get its funds from?

A. Appeals go out to the general public and the business community for contributions. Any contributions made by customers are recognized by the energy companies with various matching and giving programs.

Q. How does the Fund work?

A. Requests for assistance go through The Salvation Army, which has income and household member eligibility guidelines for qualification. To qualify for assistance, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state's median income levels. Those who qualify may receive up to $400 per household per heating season.

Q. How do I make a donation?

A. Donations can be placed in the GNEF envelopes, which are most prominently found in customers' energy bills. Other energy companies offer an "add a dollar" option which allows customers to increase their monthly utility bill payment by one dollar or more. Or, simply donate on-line here. Of course, you can just send your check to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, c/o, The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021-1408. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the "MA Good Neighbor Energy Fund."

Q. Is there a minimum donation I have to make?

A. No. A donation of any size will help.

Q. Is my donation tax deductible?

A. Yes. Your financial gift to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund through its administrator, The Salvation Army, qualifies as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt donation.

Q. How do I know that the money I send in is actually being used to help people with their energy bills?

A. The administrator of the Fund is charged with maintaining a separate account for the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund contributions and is responsible for distribution of those funds for the specific purpose of energy bill payment.

Q. At what time of the year does the Good Neighbor Energy Fund stop helping people with their energy bills?

A. The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund disburses available funds until the end of the summer or as long as there are funds available. The campaign to raise funds begins anew each October, when the demand for assistance typically begins its winter-weather climb.

Q. Who do I call for more information about making a donation or requesting assistance?

A. For more information about making a donation, call your energy company.

Q. Is my information given or sold to any other organization?

A. No. Your information is held in a secure file on the administrator's record system.