EPHRATA - Facts yielded from Grant PUD shows a big bump in local families who tap into the utility’s Share The Warmth program. Grant PUD’s Share The Warmth plan is a utility bill subsidy that cuts monthly power costs to the county’s neediest families. Share The Warmth is funded by donations collected from individuals, groups and businesses. On Thursday, Grant PUD yielded statistics that showed a large jump in program funding and the number of families who use the plan.

The amount of contributions each year since 2017 are as follows:

-       2017 - $53,923.74 contributions

-       2018 - $48,559.79 contributions

-       2019 - $138,252.58 contributions

Contributions have provided the following support: 

-       2017 - A total of $49,497.07 helped 183 families

-       2018 - A total of $74,009.27 helped 289 families

-       2019 - A total of $78,706 helped 299 families

The tripling of funding seen in 2019 resulted in a surplus that has carried over into 2020. Utility officials say big bump in money stemmed from rebate money that was donated by Microsoft and Verizon Media in 2019. Microsoft donated $10,000 and Verizon Media donated $69,500. Both Microsoft and Verizon have data centers in Quincy.

A vast increase in Share The Warmth families was seen in 2018. PUD officials say the sharp rise in participating households remains speculative.

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