HIGHER TEMPERATURES MEAN HIGHER BILLS, BUT SOME SAY COSTS ARE EXCESSIVE

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Jack Frost is hitting Alabama Power’s customers where it hurts the most: Their wallets.

It’s one of the coldest winters in many years. That means it takes more electricity to keep warm, and that leads to explosive power bills.

But Temporary Emergency Services is helping as many people as they can.

“When you get a cold winter like we have now, those bills are running somewhere between $300 and $400,” said TES Executive Director Karen Thompson. “People are seeing a double increase on their utility bill.”

Thompson said those higher bills mean TES is getting more calls from people who need help.

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase, people will call TES Monday and they will say the line is continually busy,” she said. “There are just that many people trying to get in or a slot on the utility service.”

For those who qualify, TES can help with bills, but there’s a few steps those in need must go through first.

“The first thing we ask is that you reach out to the utility company and see if you can make some arrangements,” Thompson said. “Try to seek out help from different social services, and we are one of the agencies that you can call.”

If you need assistance, call TES to make an appointment at 205-391-6647. Appointments are made each Monday beginning at 9 a.m., and assistance is available only to those living in Tuscaloosa County. Residents must bring a copy of a power bill and photo identification for their appointment.

TES also offers food, baby items and personal hygiene products, along with monetary assistance for tooth extractions, some prescriptions and utility bills.

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