Help available for cooling bills

Published 12:05 am Saturday, June 8, 2013

As the temperature increases, so does the anxiety of many residents who worry how they will pay their electric bills.

But help is on the horizon for locals who may soon have problems paying the associated costs of keeping cool.

Representatives with the agencies offering cooling assistance in the summer know they will be hit hard with requests to help pay electric bills in the coming months.

Liz Seay, director of the Organized Community Action Program, said call-in appointments for the agency’s low-income heating/energy assistance program (LIHEAP) will be held on June 17 beginning at 8 a.m.

Seay said the program will assist an estimated 700 households.

“It is so awesome that we get to help that many people,” Seay said. “But remember these appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis until all the appointments are issued. Only one appointment per phone call will be given.”

Seay said those wishing to receive assistance must meet certain income requirements and the utility bills must be in the applicants name.

To get an appointment that day, call 3334-428-2660

Don Johnson, executive director of the Covington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, said he pushed back the distribution of summer cooling assistance through the Project Share program because of climbing temps.

“We normally take appointments in June and distribute in July, but not this year,” Johnson said. “We’re going to offer assistance sometime in August because July electric bills are going to be terrible because of this triple digit heat.”

Johnson said he plans to hold sign-ups in the middle of July, with assistance appointments set in August.