Union Gas to Provide Emergency Heating Relief for Low-Income Families

Launches 2013 Winter Warmth program

CHATHAM, ON, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Union Gas is launching its annual year-long Winter Warmth program, which offers emergency relief to low-income families who have difficulty paying their natural gas bills.

The program operates in partnership with 29 community agencies across the province. It allows customers to receive one-time financial assistance of up to $500 per household per year.

"Providing assistance to low-income households who are facing difficulties paying their natural gas bills is one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to helping change the living conditions for individuals and families in the communities we serve for the better," said Steve Baker, president of Union Gas. "Through the Winter Warmth program, we're making a real difference for families in need."

Since 2007, about 7,500 low-income families in communities served by Union Gas have received assistance from Winter Warmth, through emergency relief grants totaling almost $3 million dollars.

In addition to participating in the Winter Warmth program, the company also contributes to the needs of low-income customers through the delivery of energy conservation programs.

"We understand that low-income consumers experience significant challenges meeting all their household expenses. Conservation is one of the most powerful, long-term solutions to permanently lower natural gas use and gives customers results where they have the most impact - through lower energy bills," added Baker

Union Gas provides a range of tools and education to give consumers the power to take control and manage their energy use.  For more information, visit uniongas.com/energyefficiency.

Eligibility
Eligible participants include Union Gas customers from low-income households who, due to reduced income or personal difficulties, are in arrears or at risk of going into arrears on their gas bill and have exhausted all other sources of financial support.

Union Gas also promotes conservation as a long-term solution to permanently lower heating bills, providing a range of tools and education initiatives designed to give consumers the opportunity to take control and manage their energy use. For more information, please visit uniongas.com/energyefficiency.

How the Fund Works
Union Gas contributes funding to the program, while United Way of Chatham-Kent determines and manages the level of funding for each agency based on its assessment of individual community need. Each year, the agencies that locally manage the Union Gas Winter Warmth program are asked to communicate to United Way of Chatham-Kent the amount of funding required to help families in their communities, who in turn work with these communities to address granting needs. For additional information on Winter Warmth and a list of local delivery agencies visit uniongas.com/community/winterwarmth.

For more than 100 years, Union Gas has been privileged to work in more than 400 Ontario communities. In addition to natural gas delivery services for homes and businesses, Union Gas has contributed to the province through significant economic investments, hundreds of jobs, millions in municipal taxes, energy efficiency programs, thousands of volunteer hours for community organizations, major charitable giving and sponsorships.

About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers. The distribution business serves about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario. One of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013, Union Gas is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $5.8 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.

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SOURCE: Union Gas Limited

For further information:

Andrea Stass
Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5005490
Cell: 519 365-1010
astass@uniongas.com