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Alabama Business Charitable Trust unveils updated online site

The Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund (ABC Trust) has updated its online site, offering more information for low-income Alabamians to help meet their energy needs.

“We’re excited to unveil a more expansive site, which we believe will be even more helpful to individuals and families – as well as to our nonprofit partners who are so important in helping families in need,” said Tanganyika Grayson, associate director of the ABC Trust and program manager with the Alabama Power Foundation.

Established by Alabama Power more than 25 years ago, the ABC Trust continues to partner with community action agencies, other social service providers and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to help pay energy bills, conduct weatherization projects and support basic human needs. The ABC Trust is not funded with ratepayer dollars.

Because the ABC Trust operates under different guidelines than many government energy-assistance programs, families that do not qualify for federal energy assistance may benefit from the trust’s programs.

The ABC Trust supports nonprofits by providing grants for energy-efficient upgrades and health and human service projects.

The trust’s updated online site provides details about its varied programs and grant offerings, as well as information and links to resources that can help low-income Alabamians with energy-related and other needs. Programs supported by the ABC Trust include:

Emergency Assistance Programs – The ABC Trust helps meet critical needs for energy, rent, mortgage and food. The Emergency Assistance Programs are administered by community action agencies across the state and provide the following services:

  • Emergency energy – Helps eligible, low-income households with energy bills any time of the year.
  • Emergency cooling – Provides assistance with electric utility bills in the June-October period for low-income households facing health emergencies or other circumstances that would be severely aggravated by an interruption of electrical service.
  • Emergency shelter – Helps eligible, low-income households with rent and mortgage payments.
  • Emergency food security – Assists low-income households in purchasing food.

Applications for emergency assistance may be completed onsite at the community action agency that serves people in their respective counties. Click here for a list of community action agencies across the state that administer ABC Trust funds.

Home Forward grants – The Home Forward program provides resources for low-income families to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, helping keep them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while reducing energy costs. The Home Forward grant provides up to $5,000 for weatherization projects.

Community action agencies solicit applications from low-income families and then screen applicants for the ABC Trust. Applications are reviewed quarterly by a selection committee. To apply, contact a weatherization coordinator at the community action agency that serves your county.

Efficiency Forward grants – Efficiency Forward helps nonprofits that provide health and other human needs to save money on energy costs. Grants up to $10,000 are provided for energy efficiency upgrades, such as repairing or replacing heating, ventilation and air conditioning units or lighting retrofits.

Before an application is completed, an Alabama Power marketing specialist performs an energy checkup on the nonprofit’s facility to determine whether energy efficiency upgrades will yield savings. Eligible nonprofits can learn more by clicking here.

The ABC Trust touches Alabamians across 60 counties in central and south Alabama. Colbert, DeKalb, Jackson, Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties are outside the trust’s coverage area.

To learn more about the ABC Trust and to view its expanded online site, click here.