Energy And Heating Assistance Available During Cold Months

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Frigid winter temperatures mean one thing for just about everyone -- higher utility bills. This can be especially tough for seniors and others on a fixed income.

Cooperative Emergency Outreach helps hundreds, if not thousands of families each year.

"It's an all volunteer organization," said CEO president Joe Dushan, "We have nine or teen volunteers each day."

Dushan said the group, run by a handful of churches, helps people when they are at their worst.

"We help with utilities, rent, clothing, prescriptions, gasoline to get to work, and food," Dushan said.

The colder weather has brought in people seeking help to pay their bills.

CEO does assist a number of clients with a portion of their bill, once every six months.

Other organizations, like the Economic Opportunity Agency, also provide energy and heating assistance.

Other options can be found from the source of your bills, the electric company itself.

"Just offering different tips to help our members stay warm and save energy, so we do offer a few tips for that, as well as payment assistance and energy solutions," said Ashley Harris, vice president of marketing and communications with Ozarks Electric Cooperative.

Harris said options include a delayed payment agreement, an extension or even a partial sales tax exemption.

"Circumstances happen really at any time, especially at the holidays," Harris said, "We do offer several different options to assist our membership in paying their electric bills."

If you feel your electric bills are more expensive than they should be, your electric company may be able to do a walk-through assessment of your home to find problem areas that could save you money.

Other Ozarks Electric tips can be found here.