Cold weather drives electric bills higher

The effects of last week’s frigid temperatures can linger longer than expected.

As electric bills reflecting higher energy use from the recent cold weather begin to arrive, Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) reminds members that energy assistance money is available.

“Once cold weather passes and life moves on, we are sometimes shocked when we get our bill that shows electric use during the cold snap,” remarked MTE Vice President of Community Relations and Member Services Robert White. “We want to ensure our members know help is available if they need it. We provide grant funds year-round to local help agencies for MTE members; that’s money qualifying members can take advantage of during tough times.”

White says local agencies handle the application process completely and administer the funds for MTE. Members need to qualify financially and complete an agency application.

“It’s not a complicated application process,” explains White. “We want those who are needing financial assistance to get the help they need. We stand ready to assist because that’s what neighbors do. And anyone who has ever contributed to our SharingChange program to fund such efforts understands this, too.”

Agencies are located in each of the counties MTE serves and stand ready to assist: Graceworks in Williamson County; The Community Helpers in Rutherford County; Wilson County Community Help Center; and the Cannon County Senior Citizens Center. Additionally, Mid Cumberland in Rutherford, Williamson and Wilson counties and Upper Cumberland in Cannon County serve the area. Detailed contact information can be found on MTE’s website at mtemc.com/CommunityHelpAgencies.

White stated that while there are currently still plenty of local energy assistance funds, it is likely more state and federal monies are on the way.

“We don’t have the details of how and when more energy assistance funding will be here, but we know it’s coming soon. Please check our website for updated information on this,” says White. “2020 was challenging for so many of us, and 2021 so far is no exception. We want our qualifying members to get these funds if they need help; as a not-for-profit cooperative, we’re here to serve our members.”

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