We’re still over a week away from the official start of winter on December 21st, but no one seems to have told that to Mother Nature, who has already been buffeting much of the country with Arctic fronts and making this truly a Decemberrrr to remem – brrrr!
(Sorry, we just had to interject a little cheesy humor into the deal…now back to business :-))
In response to the record-breaking cold weather, on top of federal cutbacks on food stamps, Georgia agencies that provide families with home heating help are reporting a record number of applicants this year.
But despite the unprecedented need, John Finney of Savannah Chatham County Economic Opportunity Authority expects that his agency will only be able to help about 4,000 people this year—down 1,000 from last year. “People do not have enough money for food,” Finney says. “They do not have enough money for energy resources. So it’s a chain reaction.”
In fact, some qualifying Georgia residents were sleeping on the streets outside of the SavannahCivicCenter and facilities all around the state just to get a meager $350 on their electric and gas bills, according to Finney.
Seniors and low income disabled residents were able to apply for aid in November, and general public applications opened up on December 2nd, but so far no one has received a penny of assistance.
Those who are fortunate enough to afford the spike in heating costs this winter are being urged by officials to get their heating unit serviced if they haven’t recently.
Cold spells force furnaces, heating pumps, and other units to run harder and longer than usual, which increases the risk of them failing, especially ones that are over 10 years old. Old furnaces can be particularly dangerous because they crack over time and can expose people to carbon monoxide.
Call (678) 221-4328 today for a full-service inspection from one of our highly qualified, customer-centric heating technicians in metro-Atlanta.
To find out if you qualify for federal or state heat assistance, check out Georgia’s low-income energy programs. And be sure to visit our blog to discover 5 tips for lowering our winter home heating bill.