TYLER, Texas (KETK) — During the intense summer heat, more money is coming out of Texans’ pockets towards their utility bills at the end of the month.
“In these extreme temperatures, your house is working harder to keep the inside of your home at a consistent temperature,” said Brooke Rinaudo, corporate communication representative, Shreveport.
SWEPCO says the AC system is working overtime with a direct correlation between how much energy is being used and how much the fuel costs.
“Raise the temperature a few degrees, so it’s not working to cool off your home while you’re not utilizing it,” said Rinaudo.
SWEPCO, along with most power companies, have several options for anyone who is struggling to pay their bills.
“You can extend the amount of time to pay your bill and if that doesn’t work for you there’s payment assistant programs and there is a program where you can average your monthly bill,” said Rinaudo.
In addition to the programs, the company provides a federal resource, to Low Income Home Energy Program.
Another option available to every Texan is Texas Utility Help.
The program for those who are eligible covers past due amounts and $85 towards future bills until December.
“It’s very helpful and hopefully we can beat all this heat together,” said Rinaudo.
Energy companies like SWEPCO are under a rule by the Public Utility Commission of Texas that says in extreme hot and cold temperatures they will not shut off a person’s electricity.
“It kind of builds up all those individuals that are not able to pay for their bill, the providers try and hold off until there’s cooler weather and then there’s an influx of individuals who have their energy disconnected right before there’s another heat wave,” said Stephanie Mace, AARP.
SWEPCO also encourages you to unplug microwaves, TVs and anything that isn’t being used. It may not seem like much but they say it helps.