Work is already underway to keep Pennsylvanians warm this winter.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) calls it “Be Utility Wise,” an effort to educate case workers on what help is out there for staying warm in the winter.
“There’s consumer assistance programs which help reduce bills. There’s LIHEAP, which is the federal program that gives grants to homeowners to reduce energy bills. There’s what’s called LIURP, which is a Low Energy Income Reduction Program,” said Andrew Place, PUC Commissioner.
Since winter can arrive at any time around here, the race is on to get everybody ready.
“This will help them feel better about using their utilities in the winter time and not to turn the heat down because they can’t afford the bill, because there are programs to differ the cost or help you differ on the bill,” said Deirdre Troop, Program Director, GECAC.
Place explained the struggles families face when they can’t pay their heating bill.
“Without heat its very difficult to get to work; it’s very difficult for your children to get to school too; to live in your house; to move out of your home and hollow out these communities,” said Place.
That is why it is crucial to hear this message now.
“Get them in early. See that it’s a basket of good, basket of ways to help these communities, help these families, that not one size fits all, and educate and train the trainers,” said Troop.
This could leave some families with a warm feeling this winter.