KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Many of us are trying to beat the heat and stay cool, but in the times of higher prices, people may be getting heated about the extra bump in their electric bill.
“Inflation is definitely not helping the matter,” Angela Bartlett, the CAC aging service manager said. “Folks are a little bit tighter with their budget and the dollar isn’t going as far.”
This is affecting one of the most at-risk groups in our community, senior citizens. Many of them trying to take the heat instead of risking a pricy bill. Bartlett said the CAC is receiving a lot of calls as a result of that. Most seniors ask for a free fan to use as a substitute.
“A lot of times they’re admitting that they have a working air conditioner,” Bartlett said.
She suggests that everyone, especially elders, should be using their air conditioning in this heat.
“Fans blowing around hot air isn’t going to cool you enough, and seniors have a harder time adjusting to the heat than younger individuals,” Bartlett said.
Not using the AC could lead seniors to have a heat stroke, become dehydrated, or face heat exhaustion.
“With the temperatures being so high, we don’t want anyone’s power to be off, we want that power to be on and we want them to be able to get their air going,” Anna Freshour, the KUB customer counselor said.
KUB officials offer tips like keeping your blinds closed, limiting stove and oven usage or turning your thermostat up when you’re not home may be helpful in having a more bearable utility bill. KUB recommends a setting of 78 in the summer and a maximum of 68 in the winter.
“If you can tolerate going up one or two degrees, that one or two degrees will save you about one percent every degree you can move on that thermostat,” Harley Bryant, the KUB supervisor of customer support.
To make sure seniors in your community are taking some of these steps to keep their AC on, Bartlett said to check on those that live around and your loved ones whether they’re young or old.
“Make sure that they are doing all these things in order to stay safe during this heat because it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.”
Anyone needing assistance with their utilities can see if they qualify on KUB’s website or call 211 for other options.
CAC is also taking new fan donations to help the seniors in need. Donations can be dropped off at their building located at 2247 Western Ave in Knoxville.