High heating bills force LG&E customers to seek payment help - WDRB 41 Louisville News

High heating bills force LG&E customers to seek payment help

Posted: Updated:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Record-low temperatures in Louisville are translating into record-high heating bills.

With many residents facing sticker shock, now is the time to learn the options if the LG&E bill is more than customers can afford.

65-year-old Linda Woods needs emergency help, after her LG&E bill topped $500.

"With my furnaces running back-to-back, I try to keep it down some but I got a house with 10-foot ceilings and it's a big old house off the parkway. It's not insulated," said Wood, who lives on one income. "[The bill] doubled."

A shut off notice is just days away.

"I really didn't say nothing I sit back in the chair and I was sad all day. I mean I just really got in a depressed mode," Wood said.

Depression turns into frustration on the other side of the room.

The cracks and creaks in Marcus Miller's home prevent it from holding heat.

"I'm disabled. I only get a certain amount a month -- $710 a month -- and $235 at least goes to LG&E, not including rent and utilities, so it's extremely stressful and mind boggling sometimes," Miller said.

Temperatures dipped below 20 degrees on 20 days in the last two months.

Customers of all socioeconomic means are feeling the pinch, even those who make too much to qualify for assistance.

More than 200 posts to WDRB's Facebook page Monday in response to their LG&E rates.

One man says he must choose between his car payment and having heat.

"Temperatures have been about 35 percent colder than this time last year," said LG&E spokesperson Liz Pratt.

Pratt suggests if customers have difficulty paying their bills, they should contact LG&E in advance to learn more about programs and payment plans.

"We do offer income eligible programs -- heating assistance programs -- we also offer programs for ideas and ways to reduce their energy usage," Pratt said.

Woods qualified for her Low Income Home Energy Assistance on Monday, but it only covers her past due balance and the stress is far from gone.

"What I'm nervous about right now is with the temperature the last month. This is not reflecting that really cold. I'm not going to be able to pay it and they're going to shut me off and I don't know how I'm going to stay warm," Woods said.

Louisville was awarded $2.4 million dollars the Low Income Home Energy Assistance  Program. But LIHEAP officials say if it stays this cold they will run out of money before the end of winter.

To find more information on heating assistance programs with LG&E, click here.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

  • Closed CaptioningMore>>

  • Closed Captioning Message

    Thanks to a grant from Norton Healthcare, this story and others are available in real-time closed captioning on WDRB.
    Thanks to a grant from Norton Healthcare, this story and others are available in real-time closed captioning on WDRB.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.