Pathway To Premier: Entergy’s Corporate Citizenship
Entergy's 2022 Integrated Report focuses on a number of key sustainability and ESG initiatives, including our sustainability strategy. Read on for an overview of Entergy's approach to sustainability and view our full report at integratedreport.entergy.com.
At Entergy, measuring our success starts with how well our customers and communities are thriving. In 2022, we amplified our longstanding initiative to improve lives, build businesses and create prosperity through a number of customer and community assistance programs.
Assistance with high bills
Higher than usual temperatures last summer drove record energy usage, and this combined with higher natural gas prices and storm recovery costs produced higher electric bills. To help ease the burden, we worked closely with our regulators on a series of measures including applying shareholder donations to all Entergy operating companies for bill payment assistance programs. Those donations and our ongoing The Power to Care program accounted for $10 million in assistance.
We waived late payment fees for eligible residential customers, and we waived credit card payment fees for all residential customers. In addition to these direct financial actions, our employees conducted volunteer energy efficiency and weatherization events in several neighborhoods.
We’ve been working on additional ways to help customers facing ongoing challenges receive financial assistance from federal and state programs. In 2022, those initiatives translated into 41% more financial assistance received by our customers compared with the previous year.
Those benefits were in part due to our robust outreach program with nonprofit organizations and the people they serve. We developed automated technologies to speed the process of applying for assistance and getting timely updates on the status of applications. For customers and agencies embracing these new options, tasks that once may have taken several days by mail have in some cases been reduced to hours, even minutes. These improved processes are helping customers receive the financial assistance they need.
Hurricane Ida grants
These and other activities were especially important to communities facing long recoveries after Hurricane Ida. In February, Entergy awarded $500,000 in shareholder-funded grants to organizations helping minority small business owners recover from the devastating 2021 storm.
The minority business grants were in addition to $1.25 million previously provided to help nonprofit partners provide disaster relief and assistance with rebuilding and recovery.
Tax credit and tax preparation support
Our focus on poverty solutions delivers a positive impact for the 25% of our 3 million residential customers who live below the poverty line. Helping qualified customers file for federal earned income tax credits is one of the most effective ways we help change lives. In 2022, employees contributed more than 2,800 volunteer hours through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites. As a result, more than 38,000 Entergy customers received $60 million in federal tax refunds through Entergy-sponsored VITA sites, including 12,614 customers who received $22 million in earned income tax credits. Since 2009, our support of VITA sites has helped return $298 million to more than 164,000 residents throughout our service area.
Proud to be among The Civic 50
In 2022, we were named for the seventh straight year to The Civic 50, a list of the most- community-minded companies in the country. This recognition by Points of Light sets a national standard for corporate citizenship and showcases how we and other companies use our time, skills and resources to drive social impact throughout their company and communities
Through engagement and volunteerism, employees and retirees play an instrumental role in helping Entergy achieve our philanthropic goals. Last year, our employees logged 110,810 volunteer hours. With a goal to improve our volunteer time-logging process, a cross-functional team including corporate social responsibility, information technology, legal, and supply chain developed and deployed a new software platform that streamlines the volunteer online experience and accelerates the process for paying community grants.