Safer Spaces Utility Pilot Program waives fees & offers other supports to vulnerable Albertans

 

December 13, 2018 (Calgary) – Albertans escaping the trauma of domestic violence shouldn’t be worried about their utilities. Direct Energy recognizes this, and today announced the launch of the Safer Spaces Utility Pilot Program to help eliminate financial barriers and provide specialized support for survivors of domestic violence as they work to build a safe, new home.

The Safer Spaces Utility Pilot Program is a first-of-its-kind in Alberta and supported by the Government of Alberta. Domestic violence survivors can have their $200 utility deposit waived, be exempt from any set-up or reconnect fees, and can work directly with Direct Energy’s Alberta-based Customer Experience Team, which has specialized domestic violence education. The team will assist program users in setting up and managing their account and, recognizing that short-term financial stability may be a challenge for many survivors of domestic violence, provide flexible payment arrangements.

Accounts will also be protected accounts from disconnection for a minimum of one year.

“Direct Energy believes deeply in the spirit of the Safer Spaces legislation – safety and family first, always. This new program removes a financial barrier to safety as survivors of domestic violence work to build a new home. We are proud to work with the Government of Alberta and to demonstrate our commitment to Albertans as we all work together to help victims of domestic violence.”

– Tanis Kozak, General Manager & VP North America Home - Energy, Direct Energy

“The Safer Spaces program ensures finances are not a barrier for Albertans fleeing violence. Allowing domestic violence survivors to break their lease has made a real difference in the lives of nearly 700 people across our province. I applaud Direct Energy for supporting survivors with the new Utility Pilot Program.”

– Brian Malkinson, Minister of Service Alberta, Government of Alberta

The Safer Spaces Utility Pilot Program builds on recent changes to residential tenancy laws in Alberta (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence Amendment Act),which allows victims of family violence to break their leases without financial penalty. It is available to all those participating in the province’s Safer Spaces program.

 

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers with nearly five million residential and commercial customers. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and eight provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit www.directenergy.com.