Energy Share of Wyoming, kicked-off the 2014-15 season Monday, with the goal of raising more than $100,000 and assisting more than 300 families statewide.

Seventeen Wyoming businesses, organizations and communities sponsor the program that assists individuals with energy-related emergencies when unusual circumstances create financial needs not met through existing assistance programs.

Funding comes from voluntary contributions for the program that runs through spring 2015. During its 26th season last year, Energy Share raised nearly $82,500 in private and corporate donations to assist 262 families throughout the state. Recipients of funding resided in 10 of Wyoming’s counties, with an average bill being paid of $252.

A nonprofit organization, Energy Share of Wyoming is a partnership of numerous organizations, utilities and businesses.  Sponsoring groups include The Salvation Army; MDU Co.; Rocky Mountain Power; Source Gas; Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power Co.; Townsquare Media Group; Energy West, Inc.; City of Gillette; Wyoming Rural Electric Association; Town of Lusk; Questar; City of Powell; First Federal Savings Bank, Sheridan; Black Hills Power & Light Co.; Powder River Energy Corp.; Kelly Rizley Advertising & PR; and Align.

Cheyenne Light spokeswoman Sharon Fain says Energy Share funding is available to pay energy bills when all other resources and assistance have been exhausted.  First priority goes to individuals and families at or above 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.  Special consideration is given to senior citizens and the disabled.  Energy Share provides for a one-time expenditure of up to $400 per household, and all applicants must be Wyoming residents.

Funding decisions are made by The Salvation Army, which reviews applications and assesses eligibility based on need, lack of other resources and available Energy Share funds.

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