December 6 — The National Fuel Funds Network and the National Low Income Energy Consortium recently announced that their respective boards had unanimously approved a proposal to merge the organizations into a new entity to be known as the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC).
According to a released statement, NEUAC will be a broad-based coalition of diverse organizations dedicated to "heightening awareness of the energy needs of low income energy consumers, fostering public-private partnerships and engaging in other activities to address these needs." Information released also elaborated on NEUAC's goals:
"...we set the following goals: to increase awareness and understanding of the nature and magnitude of low-income energy problems among the various publics; formulate and advance low-income energy policy through compilation, analysis and dissemination of data and information; provide information and technical assistance in the creation and development of fuel funds; promote the development of statewide and regional fuel funds networks; improve communications and coordination and take all action necessary, appropriate or convenient to the achievement of the foregoing purposes."
NEUAC's initial board will consist of 28 current Fuel Funds Network and Consortium board members. This includes delegates from utilities, non-profits, fuel funds, and other energy suppliers, all of which broadly represent the new coalition's interests. Skip Arnold of Energy Outreach Colorado and John Rich of the Mid-American Assistance Coalition are NEUAC's co-presidents. The coalition will also have an advisory board.
The two merging organizations also stated that no changes were anticipated for their signature events — LIHEAP National Action Day and the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference
In order for the merger to take effect, the secretaries of state where the Fuel Funds Network (Missouri) and Consortium (Delaware) were originally incorporated must record the agreement. According to the two organizations, this should happen in the near future.
Sources: National Fuel Funds Network, National Low Income Energy Consortium