Nashville Electric Service (NES) announced millions of dollars in additional bill assistance for customers impacted by the pandemic. During these challenging times, many customers have fallen behind on their power bill, and NES wants to help them catch up.
The utility stopped disconnections for nonpayment in March, in addition to waiving late fees and credit card fees. Now that those disconnections are resuming, NES is offering additional ways to get assistance.
“The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has given NES a rate reduction credit of $16 million, and we want to give every dollar back to our customers who need it most,” said Sylvia Smith, vice president of customer services for NES. “We want customers to know that even if you’re behind, you’re not alone. We are here to help and are teaming up with some of the area’s most respected nonprofits to help us get this funding to customers.”
Breakdown of assistance:
- $6 million in funding, distributed through NeedLink (customers need to apply)
- Up to $650 per eligible customer for past due and installment plan balances
- $10 million in COVID-19 relief that will show up as a credit on customer bills beginning in November and lasting for 12 months
Aside from the $16 million in funding, NES had previously partnered with TVA this summer for the Community Cares Fund, offering $700,000 in assistance through NeedLink, as well as Metro CARES Fund that is offering $10 million to customers impacted by the pandemic. To inform customers of these options and the other nonprofit agencies NES is partnering with to offer assistance, the utility launched <www.NEShelps.com>.
NeedLink is taking applications for assistance at <www.needlink.org> from 8 am on Mondays through (at least) noon on Thursdays and has streamlined the process to minimize the wait time for approval. Those 75 or older or who have no way to apply online can call 615-269-6835.
“NES is grateful for all of the organizations partnering with us to administer millions of dollars of aid to our customers. Those include TVA, NeedLink, Metro CARES, Metro Action Commission, Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency and others,” said Smith.
Customers can contact NES Customer Relations at 615-736-6900 for assistance with disconnections, account payments and credit arrangements. For in-person service, customers may visit the NES lobby at 1214 Church Street, Monday-Friday from 8 am-6 pm.