Hot weather is fast approaching, bringing higher temperatures, humidity and higher electricity usage as Arkansans try to keep cool. Many elderly, low-income residents need some extra help with electricity costs during summer.

Thanks to the generosity of Entergy Arkansas, Inc. customers, employees, retirees and shareholders, those customers having trouble paying their electric bill do have a place to go for help – Entergy’s The Power to Care fund.

At an employee luncheon today, Entergy Arkansas officials handed over a check for $169,655.61 to officials of the Southern Good Faith Fund, the administrator for The Power to Care program. This was the company match to a portion of customer and employee contributions in 2009, which totaled over $497,000 that will be used to help Entergy Arkansas customers in 2010.

The Power to Care was established by Entergy Arkansas 28 years ago to help elderly and disabled customers pay their electric bills in times of financial crisis. Over the years The Power to Care has provided millions of dollars in assistance to customers whose need was acute and immediate.

In the last three years, more than $2 million dollars have been disbursed by the program, helping over 11,000 families.

“This is an important program,” said Oscar Washington, director of customer service for Entergy Arkansas. “As many as 20-percent of the customers in our service area are living at or below the poverty level. We’re very pleased to sponsor this program and to work with Southern Good Faith Fun to help these customers get through the summer months.”

Entergy Arkansas customers donate by adding a contribution on their electric bill payment and through special campaigns. Employees donate through payroll deduction. Entergy matches all new customer contributions dollar for dollar. And the company matches all employee contributions 100-percent.

To donate, call 1-800-ENTERGY.

For information on where one may apply for The Power to Care assistance, contact Rosalie Tripp at Southern Good Faith Fund at (501) 661-0322 ext. 31.

Entergy Arkansas, Inc. provides electricity to almost 687,000 customers in 63 counties.