PPL Corporation and its employees have donated $513,000 to the American Red Cross to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the company said Thursday.
The company's U.S. employees contributed more than $171,000 after company officials announced a special hurricane relief effort Sept. 1. The company then matched employee giving 2-for-1 by donating more than $342,000.
"Our hearts go out to all of those who lost loved ones and whose lives were turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina," said William F. Hecht, chairman and chief executive officer of PPL Corporation. "Like so many across the country, we were moved by the images and stories emerging from the Gulf Region. Employees of our Pennsylvania electric utility who went south to help restore power sent back reports that amplified accounts of the devastation.
"In the face of so much need, our employees saw an opportunity to help," said Hecht. "I'm proud of how they responded and I am pleased that we are able to make a difference for those who need it most."
In addition to the corporation's fund-raising effort, PPL Electric Utilities provided 110 employees and more than 90 contractors to help rebuild power lines and restore electric service in communities affected by the storm. Because no utility has enough people to respond on its own to a catastrophe of this magnitude, the electric utility industry has well-established procedures for helping companies in times of need. All of the costs are picked up by the utilities that request the help.
PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls about 12,000 MW of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to nearly 5 million customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.