People dealing with the high cost of staying warm - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

People dealing with the high cost of staying warm

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A second arctic blast is sweeping across the nation.

Energy is a concern as winter temperatures settle in across Alabama. Many are struggling with the high cost of staying warm.

"You wouldn't think anybody was here, cause nothing is on." Carolyn Wilder, pinches pennies to prepare for higher energy bills.

"I keep the night lights on, I've got a florescent bulb in the kitchen."

Her current gas charges are more than 200 dollars, but she's able to pay a lower monthly budget amount. But some folks even with that help are struggling to pay.  

The Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity is seeing more than 100 people each day needing help paying their energy  bills.

"I've seen some 200 dollars up to a thousand dollars. Some are higher than a thousand dollars." Dorothy Crosby says some of the people are behind on their bills. Many are worried with colder temperatures on the way.

Crosby says, "That's what our job is to try to keep them current with their utilities as best we can."

Alabama Power says during the winter peak there are ways to save. Spokesperson, Michael Sznajderman says, "Don't use small space heaters to heat large spaces because they use a lot of electricity."

Open curtains when the sun is shining, use weather stripping for drafts, and wrap an insolating blanket around the hot water heater. Keeping the thermostat on 68 can also save money.

And saving money, means a lot to Carolyn Wilder - just trying to get by. "I just do the best I can, that's the only way I can say it."

Both Alabama Power and Alagasco suggest calling as soon as possible, if you can't pay your bill. There are payments.






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