Central Arkansas Development Council helping people pay high power bills
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Help is now available for Arkansas residents having problems paying their energy bills due to a hotter than normal summer.
A steady flow of traffic was seen Monday morning (July 25) at the Central Arkansas Development Council (CADC) in Texarkana. Offices like this in 19 south Arkansas counties started a summer cooling program Monday. Leaders say they’re trying to help people survive the dog days of summer by helping low-income residents pay their electric bills.
“I lost my job three weeks ago and my energy bills need to be paid,” said Flo Armstrong, a resident. “Well, my electric bill this month is $227 and last month it was $77.”
This is a yearly service provided by the Central Arkansas Development Council; leaders say the need is greater now than in the past thanks to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the triple digit temperatures.
“Residents are seeing higher than average utility bills with a lot of residents being unemployed, not being able to work, so the need is extreme,” said Vickie Vital with CADC.
Applicants began pouring in shortly after the doors were opened Monday morning. Vital says they have two programs available: regular assistance and crisis assistance.
“Right now, our maximum benefit amount is $2,000 because we have seen utility bills that are extremely high,” Vital said.
Vital says this program will continue across the area until they run out of the allocated funds. Offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
“It’s not just for those unemployed. As long as you meet the eligible income guidelines, you are eligible to apply,” she said.
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