Residents see relief from high power bills

The polar vortex that brought cold air to much of Georgia this week will also mean higher electricity bills. / Cody Long

The piece of the polar vortex that brought cold air to much of Georgia this week will also mean higher electricity bills. The Department of Human Services is helping Georgians who cannot afford to heat their homes again this year.

Lowndes CSBG Coordinator Angela Chaney says DHS' Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low income families pay for their electricty during the cold winter months whether it's gas or electric. She says depending on the person's income, they will receive $310 or $350.

The following counties are offering residents assistance: Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift, and Turner. These counties received a grant from the state, according to Chaney.

Senior citizens have already been signed up and Chaney says they will sign up the general public for assistance January 16.

For assistance, you must fall within a particular income bracket under the federal poverty guidelines. Those who are unemployed are eligible for assistance.

To receive assistance, residents must fall within a low income bracket and bring their most recent fuel or utility bill. In addition, they must take a current state-issued ID, Social Security card, and proof of income for all household members (if applicable).

Assistance will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis Jan. 16. Coordinators expect there to be long wait lines. This day, people will provide their names and two contacts' names. From there, they will be contacted to go in for an appointment.

For more information, contact your local Community Services Center in one of the above counties offering assistance.

To find out more on the polar vortex and how it is affecting the United States, check out this infographic provided by the National Weather Service.

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