Federally funded energy program no longer taking applications - KMOV.com

Federally funded energy program no longer taking applications

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MADISON COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) - An assistance program in Madison County that helps thousands of families pay their energy bills has shut down its application process because of a lack of funding. 

More than 6,000 families have relied on the Energy Bill Assistance Program, but a representative for the program says around 2000 fewer families will receive assistance this year because federal funding has run out of money nearly two months earlier than in previous years. 

On average, families being assisted by the program were receiving just over $500 of assistance being paid directly to energy companies. 

"With the state of Illinois' fiscal position, I think there were just some cuts made on how much they could allocate for different programs," said Madison County Communications Director Jeff Wehling.  

Around 4,700 families received assistance from the federally funded program this year, a far drop from the 6,400 families receiving help in 2014. 

"You're supposed to be able to turn to the government," said Wehling. "Everyone's going to have to depend on each other right now."

Representatives say that Madison County's large population comes with a larger demand for assistance and other weatherization and energy projects are still available. 

If everything goes right, the Energy Bill Assistance Program could resume taking applications again in the fall. 
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