The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 9, 2013

Assistance is available for summer utility bills

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Applications are being accepted for help paying summer utility bills.

About $16 million is available statewide to qualifying households through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. If the household meets income criteria, applicants will get a check to help defray high summer cooling bills.

The anticipated benefit amounts are $120 for a one-person household, while a household of two or more may receive $180. One payment per household is allowed annually for LIHEAP summer cooling assistance.

Maximum monthly net income limits for the program are $1,024 for a family of one; $1,387 for a family of two; $1,750 for a family of three; $2,113 for a family of four; $2,476 for a family of five; $2,839 for a family of six; $3,202 for a family of seven; and $3,565 for a family of eight.

Applicants should have their latest electric bill for their home and verification of income when they apply. Applications are accepted at county offices of Department of Human Services.

The funds are designed to help low-income households that are vulnerable to summer-heat stresses. DHS will continue to accept applications until all allocated funds are used.

For more information, contact the DHS human services center in your county of residence. In Garfield County, applications will be available at the front desk. The office is at 2405 Mercer Drive.

Additionally, fans are available at Enid’s Salvation Army for elderly and low-income households. The fans are donated by OG&E Electric Services. This is the seventh year of the utility’s fan donation program.

Although air conditioners are the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses, using a fan circulates the air, which can keep you comfortable, said Kathleen O’Shea, manager of OG&E corporate communications.

“A fan in combination with your air conditioner lets you adjust your thermostat by a few degrees to conserve energy and save money,” she said.