There are a lot of people in Guilford County who need help paying their power bills and other help with energy problems and Guilford County government is forming a new outreach committee to make sure that everyone eligible knows about their options. Many of those in need come to the county asking for help, however, the new community outreach plan will get the word out that help with energy bills is available.

The committee will be made up of representatives from Guilford County social services, Senior Resources of the Triad, Greensboro Urban Ministry, various local churches and other relevant partner organizations. The committee plans to use tools such as mass mailings, community outreach in target areas and partnering with local print and broadcast media to make sure everyone is aware of the help from several programs.

The “Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program” is a federally funded block grant program made up of three different efforts – a crisis intervention program, an energy assistance program for low-income residents and one that helps weatherize homes.

There are also some programs that aren’t federally funded that offer help to the needy. One of those that many people in Guilford County are aware of is the “Share the Warmth” program offered by Piedmont Natural Gas.

The goal of the new outreach committee will be to “maximize the success” of all these programs collectively.

This week, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners plans to approve the formation of the committee to provide a “framework to assure that eligible households are made aware of the assistance available through these programs.”

In order to access some of the federal funds, Guilford County is required to form a committee that “creates the opportunity for county-level collaboration to discuss and plan how to effectively reach county residents to inform them of the services provided by the energy programs.”