Atmos Energy hosts 'blitz' event for payment assistance

Dec. 1—Atmos Energy hosted an "energy blitz" on Wednesday at the Salvation Army on Ewing Road for customers to apply for financial assistance on their natural gas bills.

"Some of our teammates from Dallas are in from our energy assistance department and we're helping customers through our 'Sharing the Warmth' program with their heating bills," said Mark Martin, vice president of public affairs for Atmos.

Martin said the "Sharing the Wealth" program runs all year and customers can round-up their natural gas bill or make a monthly or one-time donation.

"That, combine with corporation donations, is then used in areas of need," he said. "We try to keep that community specific."

On Wednesday, Martin said Atmos had assisted approximately 75 customers with financial assistance for natural gas bills.

This program is separate from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through Audubon Area Community Services. Audubon was present at the blitz to offer assistance on Wednesday as well.

"We've had the 'Sharing the Wealth' program for at least as long as I've been in Kentucky and that's been 15 years," Martin said. "It's been around for at least 20 to 25 years."

Martin said the Atmos Energy corporate office in Dallas hosts blitzes like the one on Wednesday year-round based on need.

"The winter season is approaching us and we felt like Owensboro was a good opportunity," he said.

Martin said Atmos "values" its customers.

"The last thing we ever want to do is disconnect a customer," he said. "There are always funds available and ways to help customers."

Being able to assist customers at the blitz is an uplifting experience for Martin.

"Today's been very heartwarming, just to be frank and honest," he said. "Being able to help your fellow neighbor and seeing their appreciation, it's been a great day."

Martin said the amount a customer receives for assistance is based on what is needed to cover the account. He said there has not been another blitz scheduled for Owensboro yet.

For more information on the "Sharing the Wealth program, contact Atmos at 270-685-8000.