HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — High gas prices and food costs are not the only things that have seen an increase, some people are struggling to pay their utility bills on time.
Huntsville Utilities and Community Action Partnership of North Alabama say they are willing to help those who need it.
Joe Gehrdes, the Director of Community Relations for Huntsville Utilities shares that although the nation is seeing a lot of people unable to pay their utility bills, it's not the case in Huntsville.
"The good news is we have not seen a spike in past due or service interrupts and that's because there's a lot of help out there and we work really hard with our customers to avoid that," Gehrdes said.
He says it's important to speak with your utility company if you believe you can't pay your bill on time.
"We have seen more calls and you know, there's a few things that customers don't know…for instance, when the heat index is over 100 we do not do service interruptions on those days. But really the message is, any time, you know, you're going to have trouble paying your bill, the first thing you need to do is call us."
Tim Thrasher, the Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, shares their organization can act as a resource for those needing financial assistance.
"There's been a big demand for utility assistance and we are allocated funds through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. It's called LIEAP and you can apply online through our website," Thrasher said.
Thrasher says there are many reasons people may be struggling financially right now, "maybe it's health issues or maybe it's the finances, the high gas prices we've seen affected families…Inflation, food prices, so we also have some financial counseling services and stability grants that we can utilize."
If you are unsure where to start for assistance, Gehrdes encourages you to dial "2-1-1" for help connecting with financial resources. And he says Huntsville Utilities can potentially help you lower your bills.
"We send a tech out to your home to evaluate it for energy efficiency. We'll, on the spot, give you a list of improvements that you can make to help lower your bills," Gehrdes said.
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