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Making A Difference: Local nonprofit seeking families needing help on energy bills this winter

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 19:17:29-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Community Action Council is searching for people struggling to keep up with their energy bills this winter season.

They want to help those families stay warm by giving them a subsidy to pay their bills.

"We don't want the people in our community to sacrifice medical bills, food or anything like that paying utilities," CAC executive director, Sharon Price, said. "We just want to make sure everyone has a safe, comfortable place to live this winter."

Some families who can't afford their energy bills are forced to find other ways to keep warm.

Price said the CAC comes across some who use space heaters, the gas stove or charcoal grills to heat their home to avoid turning on the heat.

"When it gets cold, sometimes families will resort to unsafe measures of trying to heat and warm their home," Price said.

The federally-funded program is called the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

The nonprofit is looking to give away $230,000 by December 13th. It has already given $126,000 to help 1,200 families since November.

In order to apply, families have to meet certain income guidelines.

"Participants must be at least 130% of the federal poverty guideline, which is about $2,700 a month for a family of four," Price said.

For those who make more than that, the CAC's Winter Care program could be another option.

That program is funded by Kentuckians who donate through their Kentucky Utilities bills.

Kentucky Utilities spokesman, Daniel Lowry, tells LEX 18 that KU customers donate more than $50,000 every year.

"It's amazing how generous our customers are, how they're willing to give, donate to help folks who are having a little bit of trouble, especially this time of year when it's so cold and you're electric bill goes up," Kentucky Utilities spokesman, Daniel Lowry, said.

Kentucky Utilities matches each donation dollar for dollar.

If you think you are eligible for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, you can call (859) 300-6960.

For tips on how to save on your monthly energy bill, head to this website: https://lge-ku.com/energy-efficiency-tips/cool-weather