City extends utility assistance program amid heat wave -

City extends utility assistance program amid heat wave

ST. LOUIS ( -- Air conditioners are running almost non-stop but the cool air will cost you.  Bills can be so big, that some won’t be able to pay them.

However, the City of St. Louis Department of Human Services is extending the application period for its special utility assistance for residents who are at risk of having gas or electric utilities disconnected.

News 4 is learning where you can get help. However, if you wait until your bill comes next month, it will be too late.

“Some of the deadlines to seek assistance are looming and will come before bills will arrive,” warns Pam Walker of the Health Department.

The little dials in electric meters are spinning like a top but you’ve got to take steps now to lessen the blow of that big bill when it comes in July.

Money is available for energy assistance, but residents have to sign up now to get help.

The City of St. Louis Department of Human Services says residents must be 60 or older to apply for special utility assistance. Applicants must also live in the city and/or have a disability and are at risk of having utilities disconnected. Family size and income requirements must also be given.

“We want to make sure that some of the City’s most vulnerable residents – those with disabilities and those 60 and older – are able to stay safe and cool during the hot summer months,” said Mayor Slay. “The funds are part of the City’s ongoing efforts to prevent homelessness. Over 800 households with disabled or senior residents have been assisted – and we hope to assist about 1000 more. I urge qualified individuals to submit applications soon so we can prevent utility disconnection.”
Keep It Current, a community action agency of St. Louis County and city, are also offering limited electric bill assistance during the summer for city residents 60 years old and over. Applications for that program must be submitted between July 2 and July 13.

Residents can apply at the following locations:

2012 Dr. M. Luther King Dr. 
St. Louis, MO 63106

5935 Horton Place    
St. Louis, MO 63112

6827 S. Broadway
St. Louis, MO 63111

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is offering assistance for low-income households. Assistance will be granted based upon income, family size and availability of resources.
Residents may apply in person, online, or by phone. The application deadline is May 31.

33701 Grandle Square    
St. Louis, MO 63108

If you don’t qualify for energy assistance, there is a way to lower next month’s bill. Online or on the phone you can sign up for Ameren’s budget billing which levels out your bills and avoids the gigantic bills after a heat wave. You can go online to get an estimate of what your bill will be and if you sign up now it will be in effect when your bill comes next month.

Ameren and others are urging senior on fixed incomes not to go without air conditioning and suggest a window unit as a low cost option.

“A window unit air conditioner can create a cool zone in a room and for less than a dollar a day,” suggests a company spokesperson.

To get energy assistance, call the united way at 211 or Cool Down St. Louis at 314-241-7668.


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