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Xcel Energy's free appliance-marking service for blind, visually impaired customers turns 20

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Xcel Energy's free appliance-marking service for blind, visually impaired customers turns 20

2009-06-09 22:00:00.0

MINNEAPOLIS – Operating kitchen stoves, ovens, microwaves and other appliances can be challenging – even hazardous – for blind and visually impaired people.

But it’s less challenging for approximately 1,800 Xcel Energy customers who have been served by the company’s Kitchen Appliance Marking Program (KAMP), now in its 20th year.

The program, a free service for Twin Cities area customers, is provided by teams of trained Xcel Energy retiree volunteers and their spouses who visit recipients’ homes to apply peel-and-stick bubbles or brightly colored dots to controls primarily on stoves, microwave ovens, dishwashers and thermostats.

As part of the program’s 20th anniversary observance, Xcel Energy is looking to serve 200 customers this year, which would bring the total program recipients since 1989 to 2,000.

This year, KAMP volunteers also will distribute information on energy conservation and help blind and visually impaired customers locate additional services for which they may be eligible based on their income.

“We receive many positive comments on how important the program is for recipients to continue living independently and safely in their homes,” said Program Manager Ceace Haagensen. “We consider the safety of our customers to be a top priority, especially our customers who have special needs.”

Visually impaired customers interested in the service should contact the Xcel Energy KAMP phone line at (612) 330-6259 and include their name, address and phone number, along with a brief message. A KAMP volunteer will respond to the customer within five to eight working days to schedule an appointment.

For a short video that shows how the program works, click on KAMP Program Video Clip.

Or go to www.xcelenergy.com. Under Company, select Minnesota in the drop down box. Here's the web page link: Volunteer Partnerships.

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