DHS to help those in need of elec. bill assistance

Comanche County_As temperatures rise, so do electric bills.  It can put a strain on your budget, and it's getting more and more difficult for some people to keep cool.  High temperatures can be dangerous - causing heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.  But, the Comanche County Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering its annual summer cooling assistance program to help people keep cool.

With increasing fuel costs, it isn't always easy to pay a large bill, so DHS is offering help some in need to pay high summertime electric bills.  "It's very important especially for the elderly and the young to be able to stay cool, and not have heat exhaustion," says DHS ------ Patsy Davis.  "It's a good program.  It helps a lot of people."

Beginning Monday, July 14, if you bring in your electric bill, complete an application, and are approved, DHS will make a one-time payment on your electric bill - $120 for one person and $180 for two or more.  This will be the first year that a 72-hour cut off notice is not required.  However, it isn't only for electric bills - the funds can also be used for air conditioner repair.  "You can bring in an estimate on what's needed," says Davis.

The program is only offered for a limited time.  Davis says it only lasted four days last year.  But, in those four days, she says they helped hundreds keep cool.  "It's good to see how much they appreciate it, there are a lot of people who receive the help, and they do sincerely appreciate the help."

The program begins Monday, July 14.  Offices open at 7:30 a.m. and they will take applications until 4:15 p.m. on a first-come first-served basis.  They will continue to take applications until they run out of money.

Here are some tips to lower your summer electricity bills:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home, and 85 degrees or off when you are away.
  • Avoid running appliances during peak hours - from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
  • Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.
  • Be sure to replace your air conditioner filters every month.