Nonprofit, LNG co. Team Up

Joe Kennedy’s Citizens Energy Corp. is teaming up with Distrigas of Massachusetts to provide natural gas to needy residents facing escalating home-heating costs.

Distrigas, owner of the giant liquefied natural gas facility in Everett, has donate $250,000 to Kennedy’s non-profit organization and committed to providing $1 million a year to help Citizens’ efforts to provide low-cost energy to low-income and elderly residents.

Kennedy, appearing at a press conference in Everett, said Distrigas was being a “good neighbor” by donating.

“We wanted to give back to the community,” said Rick Grant, chief executive of Distrigas.

Distrigas’ LNG tanker shipments through Boston Harbor have become a source of controversy due to security fears.

Joe Murphy, 88, a World War II veteran whose home was used as a backdrop for the news conference, thanked Kennedy and Grant for their assistance. IN a statement, Murphy said it’s become tougher for him and others to pay heating bills due to skyrocketing energy prices.

About a third of all homes in New England are heated with natural gas, Grant said.

Citizens has worked for years to get low-price heating oil to needy homeowners, and yesterday’s announcement was portrayed as a significant foray into the natural gas field by Citizens.