Electric Bill Help Available for Low-Income Families

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - This summer, the burning heat could also burn a hole through your wallet. As the air cranks up, so does the cost of your electric bill. For those who can't afford that, their bills are putting them in a bind.

Low-income families and the elderly are going to be feeling the biggest bite from their electric bills cranking up the air during this summer heat.

Who are they going to call?

West Texas Opportunities said call them.

The WTO offices in 14 different West Texas counties were given $2 million in federal and state funds to help with those high bills.

Ector County's cut was $633,000.

"We'd rather them not wait until they get a disconnect notice because sometimes it's too late," WTO Outreach Worker, Sylvia Campbell, said. "We don't have enough time to work with them. So they get their bill and they see they won't be able to make their bill, call us and we'll let them know if they qualify."

Finding out if you qualify is just a phone call away.

They'll also start providing air conditioner units by next Monday.

Many of the repeat clients they see need this aid.

"It's our elderly because their income really does not change," Campbell said. "It's not like they can go back to the workforce. Their income is a set income."

But now they're going through a strange problem, client numbers seeking aid are down this summer than in years past.

WTO doesn't know if it's because people don't know about their services or if the economy has lessened the strain.

"It's really good right now. I don't know if family members are helping each other or most of everybody has a job so that might be the reason," Campbell said.

Whatever the reason, they said a call to them could be one way to beat the heat on bills.

You can call the Ector County WTO at (432) 333-9027. The Midland County WTO can be reached at (432) 682-2509. The Howard County WTO's phone number is (432) 267-9536.