KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Get ready to pay a little bit more on your energy bills this winter. KUB says their natural gas customers can expect a 19% increase in their bills this year and electric customers can expect a 5% increase.
“We are seeing that as the economy has recovered and people are out doing more things, there is a higher demand for energy and in response, we are seeing those energy prices go up,” said Stephanie Midgett with KUB communications and external relations.
Natural gas customers can expect to see an average of an additional $16.57 cents in their bill every month. Electric customers will see an extra $6.20 per month. There are local programs ready to help take on some of the burden, like the CAC’s LIHEAP (Low-income home energy assistance program).
The staff there has been busy poring through applications. The director of energy and community services, Cecelia Waters, says they’re seeing a lot more this year.
“I think we have probably served up to about 2,000. That tells us we have much need and much work to do,” Waters said.
While they work to help as many people as they can, there are things you can do at home to keep your bill as low as possible.
“You’re going to want to set your thermostat as low as you’re comfortable setting it,” Midgett said. “Also it’s important especially with the holidays coming up, to remember not to heat an empty home. Seal up the cracks and leaks around your windows and doors in order to prevent that warm air from escaping and the cool air from getting inside your home.”
If you would like to apply for the CAC’s LIHEAP, there are several ways you can complete and return your LIHEAP application:
- Visit the Online Application Portal
- This option is only available if you have received LIHEAP sometime within the past two years.
- E-mail the application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail the application via USPS to ATTN: LIHEAP OFFICE (P.O. Box 51650, Knoxville, TN 37950)
- Deliver it to the LIHEAP drop box located at the main entrance of the Ross Building (2247 Western Avenue, Knoxville 37921) Monday through Friday 8:00AM—4:45PM
Before you get started on a LIHEAP application, you must have the following information & copies of the listed documentation:
- Social Security cards for all members of your household and/or Birth Certificate for children less than one year old with no social security number.
- Copy of Driver’s License or valid photo ID
- Copy of your current utility bill
- Proof of Income documentation as applicable to your household:
- Current paystub with your gross (before tax) year to date earnings showing 8 weeks’ worth of pay (all sources of income must be reported with the exception of employment income for household members under age 18),
- Unemployment letter that documents your maximum benefit,
- Worker’s Compensation Remaining Benefits, SSI, SSDI, Social Security, Families First, TANF, Child Support,
- If you receive food stamps/SNAP, you may submit your most recent DHS Award letter for household income.
- Proof of military service (if applicable).
- Lease documents (if living in Section 8 or Public Housing).
- Anyone in your household age 18 or older that does not have income will need to be listed on the self‐declaration of zero income form.