Affordable Energy Corporation is a 501C(3), non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide financial assistance to low and fixed income households with high utility bills in the LG&E service area. Affordable Energy Corporation (AEC) is governed by a board of directors that operates ASAP: The All Seasons Assurance Plan, a utility assistance program. ASAP provides a monthly benefit payment to participating households to ease the burden of high energy costs.
ASAP provides assistance year around; hence the name, All Seasons. Yearly funding is provided through Louisville Gas and Electric’s 25¢ Home Energy Assistance (HEA) Fund Charge and the utility’s shareholders donation. Participant numbers are always based upon available funding.
AEC partners with Community Action Kentucky and their agencies; Metro Community Action Partnership in Jefferson County and the three other Community Action Agencies within LG&E’s service area, to provide a list of eligible LIHEAP clients; those most in need of our assistance. Through our qualification process, clients who meet all ASAP requirements are then selected to receive an invitation to attend an orientation session during the February to June enrollment period. Invitations are sent each January and continue until all openings are filled.
Financial assistance, case management services, energy conservation education, and weatherization services are provided to clients through the ASAP program using various local providers. Reducing utility disconnects and brown bills, reducing arrearages and uncollectible accounts and encouraging energy conservation will stabilize households by making their energy bills more affordable.
The ASAP program is unique in that it considers several factors for each participant when calculating benefits. Our benefit tiers begin at $400 and continue to $600, $800 and $1000. Participants qualify for benefits based on their income, household size, energy usage and energy costs, among other factors. In addition, ASAP is a Partnership Program. We help with a portion of the participant’s bill, so that their balance is more affordable. This allows them to pay their part “On Time, and In Full” each month. By fulfilling this requirement, participants continue to be eligible for their next ASAP benefit payment.
Throughout our 20 years, ASAP has grown from a mere 200 to now over 2600 participants. With permanent funding recently approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in June 2015, we look forward to many years of service to come. We plan on growing our capacity, so that we may continue to be a resource to our community. As a roll-over program, that begins anew each January, often 50% of our participants will continue to require our assistance from year to year; especially fixed income seniors, persons with disabilities, working poor families, as well as those in temporary or transitional economical periods of struggle. But we are thrilled to report that so many more have graduated, by accepting ASAP as a stepping stone to build their future financial independence.