Pacific Power and Oregon HEAT are launching their annual statewide program to help low-income seniors, disabled people and working poor families obtain the energy they need. Pacific Power customers are urged to look for the donation envelopes included in November electricity statements.

"This partnership has helped thousands of local residents over the years to receive power at a time when they have needed it most," said Becky Eberle, Pacific Power's program manager. "Our customers have been very generous over the years with their donations, and Pacific Power is proud to match all contributions dollar for dollar."

Oregon HEAT is an independent non-profit organization that raises funds to help low-income Oregonians stay warm in the winter. Jay Formick, Oregon HEAT executive director, explained that the number of households needing help with energy bills is growing and donations are used in the communities where they are received.

"Last year, Oregon HEAT helped pay heating bills in 7,305 households. Some people we help have suffered through one or more years of unemployment, and there are strong indicators that the need will continue to increase," said Formick. "High unemployment, decreased median household income and dropping enrollment in the Oregon Health Plan are putting pressure on low income households. It looks like more people will have to choose between paying for health care and paying to stay warm."

"This partnership has been very successful in providing assistance to people faced with tough decisions about the basic necessities of life," said Eberle. "Together with our customers, Pacific Power and Oregon HEAT have been able to provide a needed service to Oregon residents in their time of need. We encourage customers to continue this tradition of helping neighbors."

Donations to Oregon HEAT can be made through donation envelopes in the November Pacific Power bills, by phone at 503-612-3790 or online at www.oregonheat.org.

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