Cold Snap Brings High Heating Bills

Published 01/27 2014 09:12PM

Updated 01/28 2014 01:17PM

(St. Joseph, Mo.) With temperatures dropping well below freezing, many are using more power to heat their homes.

But that heat often comes with a hefty price.

"It's too doggone high," says Danny Edwards, a St. Joseph resident concerned about his recent heating bill.

Edwards says his electric bill tripled from this time last year and says it has become outrageous and he is worried it will keep climbing.

"To me, it's just unbelievable how this could be," added Edwards.

Edwards, who is on a fixed income says he needs to kick the heat up to keep his family warm.

He says he wants to keep his home comfortable for his wife who is ill.

"We have to stay warm, and my God, if I have to turn it up and use the electricity I'm going to do it because she's my wife and I'm not going to let her suffer," said Edwards.

But he isn't alone, he's just one of many forking over more money for their latest heating bill. Some say it's simply overwhelming.

"It's pretty hard on people that have social security and just an income that's not very high and it really hurts a lot of people," said Thomas Dunken, who also resides in St. Joseph.

But for those struggling, there is help available through KCP&L.

The company is offering payment plans for customers who qualify.

"A lot of people are eligible for payment arrangements but they're afraid to call, and maybe they're embarrassed or they're afraid they'll be told no," says Penny Adams with AFL-CIO.

There are agencies offering assistance for low-income families but Adams says they're flooded with applications and she says they are behind on the process.

"When they get these bills, even before they get the shut-off notice, they need to check with the local agency, Community Action Partnership, to see if their eligible for energy assistance," she added.

KCP&L customers can visit the utility company's website to learn more about making payment arrangements, or the federally funded programs available.

KCP&L's cold weather period runs through March 31. Additional payment options are available for those who qualify.

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