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Direct Energy Emergency Fund helped 140 Alberta families avoid financial crisis in 2017

$500,000 Joint Initiative Between Direct Energy, United Way of Calgary and Area and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region Provides Emergency Grants to Albertans in Need

Calgary, Alberta - Since its launch in June 2017, the Direct Energy Emergency Fund has supported 140 Alberta families facing financial crisis by providing emergency grants and access to critical resources. Funded by Direct Energy, the $500,000, three-year joint initiative with both the United Way of Calgary and Area and the Alberta Capital Region was developed to assist Albertans experiencing a utility-related financial crisis.

Albertans can access the Direct Energy Emergency Fund by dialing 211, a free, confidential and multilingual system available 24-hours a day. Following referral to a United Way partner agency, families are provided resources and support to help them transition out of short-term crisis and towards financial empowerment.

“Clients receiving the Direct Energy funding were able to re-focus on getting their feet under them again without the fear of losing their power and having their credit negatively impacted. They came in feeling very stressed and left feeling more hopeful that they could get ahead.” –  Partner Agency, United Way Alberta Capital Region

According to the United Way, one in 10 Calgarians live in poverty, and one in three Calgarians worry regularly about having adequate funds to pay for housing and basic needs. In 2017, recipient families in the Capital Region received an average of $505 from the Direct Energy Emergency Fund, while funds in the Calgary area averaged $600 per family.

“Direct Energy is proud to partner with the United Way to directly help so many deserving Alberta families,” said Tanis Kozak, Vice President and General Manager, Direct Energy. “This year, $175,000 of the Direct Energy Emergency Fund will be made available to address the ongoing need in our communities and prevent a family’s short-term emergency from becoming a long-term problem.”

Eligibility for the Direct Energy Emergency Fund is determined by 211 and the partner agencies. Funding is available to Albertans served by the United Way of Calgary and Area and the Alberta Capital Region, regardless of energy provider. Funds are currently available to Albertans living in: Airdrie, Calgary, Chestermere, Cochrane, County of Strathcona, County of Parkland, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, High River, Leduc, Okotoks, Strathmore, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, St. Alberta and Stony Plain.

For more information on the Direct Energy Emergency Fund, please visit or dial 211.



For more information contact:

Wendy Tynan
Manager, Public Affairs - Canada

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with nearly five million residential and commercial customers. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada.

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