Lincoln, Neb (Colin) – With the intense temperatures we have seen lately in Nebraska, many have sought to make use of a thermostat to maintain it cool.
However for individuals who battle financially, paying utilities and giving up one thing else to take action is a actuality many face.
In response to the US Division of Power, paying for family power prices low-income households 8.3% of their earnings. That is practically thrice greater than the typical for high-income households who spend about 3% of their earnings on utilities.
Businesses that present utility help in Lincoln say the latest warmth and ongoing inflation are growing their calls for this summer time.
“At this time of year, we are seeing an increase in the number of people needing facility assistance, however, I don’t think it’s around this time of year. I think it’s also about the economic impact,” said Sarah Fentress, director of emergency services for the Community Action Partnership in Lancaster and Saunders counties. which we are seeing now.
The Lancaster and Saunders Counties Community Action Partnership provides different types of assistance to Nebraskans. It said in May it had received 260 calls for assistance with the facilities. This month, that has already been surpassed by 261 and there is still a week left in June.
She also said that 96% of the people she helped this month had already been disconnected.
“Pandemic, higher utility rates, I think families are really facing not having enough money to pay for all the things in the house, which are essentials like rent, utilities, food,” Ventress stated.
Nebraska Legal Aid does not directly provide assistance, but is a resource for those at risk of shutting down facilities or those who have already shut them down. On average, he said he receives more than 100 calls a month for this type of help.
“It remains very much consistent, but it is clear that, since the pandemic, we have really increased the size of our case and our staff to address the growing volume,” said Scott Mertz, Housing Equity Project coordinator.
Meretz said that many do not know their rights when it comes to these situations.
“Everyone has the right to have written notice of the closure notifying them before they happen, and that the closure should contain sufficient information about what is due enough time before it is closed so that it can be remedied,” Mertz said.
Legal Aid said if you think you may be in danger of losing your facilities, your best bet is to reach out to a supplier like their agency for the next steps.
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