Federal funds available to pay high electric bills, certain conditions

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - More and more utility customers are coming forward to say they don't have the cash to pay off an expensive bill.

Elizabeth Dockery of Tuscaloosa County has a $758 power bill. Her husband is not working right now and she faces losing power.

"They said they were going to if we didn't go to the office before closing. I don't see that happening. I can't lose any power because I have a 10-year-old and a nine-year-old girl," Dockery said.

"Well there appears to be a slight increase in the number of folks coming and asking for assistance," Larry Dancy, Director of Social Services for Salvation Army said.

At the Salvation Army in Birmingham, the non-profit works with Alabama Power Foundation to provide help based on economic need up to $275.

"We assist folks with their power bill which could be heating or cooling. To qualify is 62 years of age or disabled," Dancy said.

In Jefferson County, the first stop should be the Jefferson County Economic Opportunity agency. It has an energy assistance program. The Economic Development office has about 40-thousand dollars in federal funds which could be used.

"If they have a turnoff notice from the power company, that bill could receive assistance under our program. It's all contingent on being a renter and also of being 30 percent of the household income," Frederick Hamilton, Director of Jefferson County Economic Development office said.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.