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Sun Youth offering heating assistance


Heating assistance – The extreme cold weather we have been experiencing this season is taking its toll on heating systems, as well as on people’s wallets and well-being – and once again Sun Youth is there to help in whichever way they can. Perhaps even for those experiencing heating oil delivery problems from their regular suppliers.

For those who use electricity, their bills are soaring. Some people have seen their monthly costs soar close to 40% and others even higher. It gets to a point where people are unable to afford it and are worried about their electricity being cut off – but thanks to a provincial law, instead of putting less food on the table in order to pay the bill, Hydro-Québec is not allowed to shut off power because of non-payment from the 1st of December to the end of March.

And thanks to Sun Youth, who have advocated for those faced with this dilemma, they can negotiate a payment agreement with Hydro-Québec or have access to services designed to improve the energy efficiency of a residence through the ‘Éconologis’ program.

For those who heat with oil, higher costs are not the only problem, as many oil companies have been unable to keep up with the unusually high demand. It is in part due to record-breaking temperatures with tanks emptying much earlier in the season, as well as delivery trucks struggling to get around the city because of the fallout from snow and ice storms – but there has been a high volume of complaints from customers who have not been able to get through to their suppliers or who have been promised a delivery within 24 hours, only to find themselves with no oil and having no heat at all during the dangerously frigid days and waiting up to a week (and some even longer) for a truck to appear at their homes.

It is somewhat understandable for the smaller, independent oil companies to be struggling, but there has been an outcry from customers of major suppliers, especially those with Ultramar, who have been struggling just to get through to them on the phone and then often being promised immediate delivery – only to find themselves shivering for days on end. In some cases, people had to leave their homes or even close businesses. Although representatives of the company have cited many reasons for the delays, some being legit, there is clearly a customer service and management problem needing to be urgently addressed.

Sun Youth may be able to help in some instances, with free heating oil for those who are simply unable to pay for it. They have a program, made possible in part thanks to the renewed collaboration of retailer members of l’Association des distributeurs d’énergie du Québec (ADEQ), which allows the organization to provide free heating oil to families in need once again this year. With the support of their partners in the oil industry, they have been able to provide heating oil to families with little or no financial means in emergency situations. In the last 24 years, close to 325,000 litres of heating oil have been delivered to these families.

To have access to the program, you can call Sun Youth directly. They will first evaluate your situation to make sure you are in need and that your financial means qualifies. If so, they will contact one of their partners who will then go to your place and fill up half a tank – at no cost.

Sun Youth relies on donations. People wishing to contribute to the financing of their programs are invited to take part in Sun Youth’s Valentine’s Day fundraising dinner, held once again at the Robin des Bois restaurant on Thursday, February 15th 2018, starting at 6:00pm. To create a warm and pleasant atmosphere for the evening there will be live music performed by the Cadillac Music Band and door prizes to win. On the menu, a succulent meal which includes a delicious soup, a choice of a main dish, glass of wine and surprises. The tickets are on sale now for $50. To buy your tickets, please email them at: communications@sunyouthorg.com

Meanwhile, people who have difficulty with their heating costs could contact Sun Youth at (514) 842-6822 for more information or to make an appointment for an evaluation.

You can also visit their website at http://sunyouthorg.com or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunYouthOrg

Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca
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