ACCESS Helping With Heating Bills

heating helpMEDFORD, Ore. — A fewer number of people have signed up for help keeping their electricity on, but ACCESS says that number may be misleading.

The organization said 2,057 people are signed up for the program, which helps low-income families help pay for heating costs. About 2,600 people signed up a year ago. But ACCESS said the lower number this year may be because the program was slowed down by the government shutdown last fall.

ACCESS is helping about 50 to 60 households a day, and says it is currently booked up until the end of February.

“Around this time it is common to see a lot more people needing assistance than us being able to help them at the time that they call in,” said Kate Rodriguez with ACCESS.

ACCESS workers recommend people needing assistance to call ahead and set it up a few weeks in advance.

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  1. Mary Copple says:

    ACCESS should not be touted as helping low-income families. I’ve been trying to get assistance for my 21-year old daughter, just a little help – not the whole bill, but for the past 3 years it has been limited to seniors. I understand about a senior fixed income, but these kids that are working at $9.00 an hour in the mall (and are really lucky to even find a job in these economic times) can’t handle a $200 power bill. Pacific Power tries to help with equal payment plans, but go by the yearly average which may also include a previous tenant’s usage. They lower it to $130 a month but it’s still high for the younger families just getting by. The power company still refers us to ACCESS even though I’ve called about a young family.

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