Is among the first energy companies in the U.S. to have such a program
ORANGE, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, announced today that its new Student Loan Debt Repayment program has saved its employees more than $300,000 in principal and interest since its launch in February 2023. Avangrid is one of the first energy companies in the United States to have a student loan debt repayment program.
“It was important to us to add a student loan repayment program to our benefits toolkit because we understand it’s a systematic problem that touches every corner of our workforce,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid. “As one of the first energy companies to launch a Student Loan Debt Repayment Program, we are a leading pioneer in offering diverse and modern benefits to our employees.”
Student loan debt is one of the biggest financial burdens facing Americans. Currently, nearly 44 million borrowers hold student loans that total more than $1.75 trillion in federal and private student loan debt. This surpasses all categories of consumer debt other than mortgages.
“While constructing our program, we discovered our employees have an aggregate student loan debt total of approximately $65.6 million,” said Kyra Patterson, chief human resources officer at Avangrid. “That data spoke volumes and confirmed what we already suspected—student loan debt is a financial and mental burden to our employees. By adding this new program, we’re offering support to our employees most burdened by student debt and demonstrating our continued commitment to attracting and retaining top talent.”
Avangrid’s Student Loan Debt Repayment Program is available to non-union employees and offers participants a $250 monthly payment, up to a lifetime maximum of $9,000, paid directly to their eligible student loan provider(s). Since the program’s launch, more than 430 employees have enrolled—including Alexis McDonald, a talent acquisition recruiter with Avangrid who was eager to sign-up for the program since she’s ineligible for government forgiveness programs due to consolidating her loans.
“I was expecting to carry my student loan debt with me forever,” said McDonald. “Like many other college graduates, I’ve been paying back my loans since graduation and that can be a financial burden. I was floored to find out about Avangrid’s repayment program. It has ensured my loans will be paid off in a timely manner and no payments are missed. It’s also helping raise my credit score. In just a few months this program has already done so much to relieve a financial burden that I’ve felt for a long time.”
Another Avangrid employee taking advantage of the program is Amanda Kinsey, customer service associate analyst at Maine Natural Gas, an AVANGRID subsidiary.
“This program is not only helping me right now, but helping my family have more financial security in the future,” said Kinsey. “Honestly, I was in shock when I learned about it. My supervisor insisted I apply the same day the benefit was announced. My student loan payments are $300 a month. On top of all our other expenses, I felt like I was drowning in bills just to get by, despite being college educated. Now with this program, I’m able to take the money I’m saving and put it in my son’s future college account so hopefully he will be able to go to school with little or no debt. I’m grateful every day for benefits like this.”
About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $41 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs more than 7,500 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022 and 2023 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2023, Avangrid ranked first within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2023 for the fifth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
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Source: AVANGRID, Inc.