Summer has officially started, and people will be turning up their air conditioning and fans as the days get hotter and hotter. This increased energy consumption means that their energy bills will inevitably go up as well. Unfortunately, for low-income families, it can be difficult to keep up with those bills all summer. Oftentimes, they end up either compromising their comfort and well-being by not cooling their houses, or they end up spending all of their income on their bills, leaving very little to live on for the rest of the month.
That is why the federal government is stepping in. According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, about $16 million of federal funds are being made available to low-income Oklahomans to help them cover the costs of their summer cooling bills.
Starting on July 9 applications for the program will be available at DHS county offices. Families with a maximum monthly income of $1,024 for a one-person household to $3,565 for an eight-person household are qualified to submit their applications.
There will be no deadline for applications until the entire fund is depleted, at which point DHS will stop accepting further applications. Those who want to apply will have to pay a one-time fee of $120 to $180, depending on the number of people in their household.