MidAmerican program will help low-income customers

MidAmerican program will help low-income customers MidAmerican Energy Company is asking its customers to think of others this winter through participation in the I CARE program. I CARE assists customers who are unemployed, living on fixed or low incomes or experiencing a family crisis by helping pay their heating bills or making their homes more energy efficient. To qualify, customers must meet their state's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program guidelines.

I CARE funds come from donations made by customers, and a percentage of the donation is matched by MidAmerican. These tax-deductible donations help local community action agencies provide valuable financial assistance. Assistance is especially needed this winter as heating bills rise but contributions to I CARE have not. All donations are administered by an agency in the area where the contribution originated.

"This is an important program year-round and especially needed during winter as utility bills naturally climb because of colder weather," said David Graham, MidAmerican's vice president of customer service operations. "Natural gas costs are higher this year than last year, so we encourage our employees and customers to participate in an effort to increase I CARE funds for distribution."

MidAmerican's corporate contribution to I CARE is based on the customer donation level. Customer contributions are not used by pay administrative expenses. All customer donations go directly towards helping the disadvantaged. Tax-deductible contributions of up to $5 can be made in whole-dollar overpayments of the customer's monthly energy bills. Mid-American customers also can make either a one-time payment of more than $5 or add a monthly pledge amount to their energy bill.

Customers can make a pledge by returning the form included in their October energy bills, submitting a pledge form electronically through

MidAmerican's Web site at www.midamericanenergy.com or calling MidAmerican toll-free at (888) I-ASK-MEC (427-5632) for details.

Graham said if customers are worried about paying their energy bill, they should call Mid-American.

to make a payment arrangement or should consider Budget Billing. "We certainly want to work with customers to make sure their homes remain heated during the cold winter months," Graham said.

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa's largest energy company, provides electric service to 672,000 customers and natural gas service to 652,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, IA. Information about Mid-American is available on the Internet at http://www.midamericanenergy.com.

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