Energy assistance available for elderly and low-income residents

From The Mississippi Link Newswire

JACKSON – Hot Mississippi summers send electricity bills soaring, but help is available. The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Community Services is pushing federal dollars down through local community action agencies to help the elderly, disabled and low-income Mississippians beat the heat.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance to eligible households to help pay the costs of home energy bills and other energy-related services.

During extreme weather conditions, people living in poverty and low-income elderly should not have to choose between cooling or heating their homes and buying food or prescriptions. Since two-thirds of families receiving LIHEAP assistance have incomes of less than $8,000 a year, the program clearly assists those who need help the most.

Since January 2012, over 30,000 Mississippians have received assistance with their energy-related bills through LIHEAP. With more hot weather in the forecast, $13 million in federal LIHEAP funds is available to meet the energy needs of low-income Mississippians.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for assistance, contact your local service agency or call 1-800-345-6347.

Some money-saving tips include:

ØTurn the hot water heater down to below 120 degrees.

Ø Cook on the lowest burner setting; consider using the oven only in the evenings.

Ø Close curtains and blinds on hot days.

Ø Raise the thermostat to 78 degrees or more to decrease your air conditioning bill.

Ø Replace AC filters once a month.

Ø Use ceiling fans to maximize your AC’s effectiveness.

Ø Wash your clothes in cold water; don’t over-dry your clothes and if possible, hang dry clothes outside.

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