Colder winter could mean less insulation in bank accounts
LITTLE ROCK —
We're expected to have colder temperatures this year compared to the mild winter months on 2011 and early 2012.
Lower temperatures could impact the insulation of your bank account. The United States Department of Energy is expecting some customers will pay up to about one-fifth more on heating bills compared to last year.
Forecasting higher heating bills possibly couldn't have come at a worse time with continuous cuts on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding.If bills continue to rise it's expected to put a larger burden on those financially in the cold.
Federal funding may be heading down, but poverty in Arkansas is on the rise. Latest economic numbers show about one in every five Arkansans lives in poverty.
"I just got a call today from someone seeking it, seeking LIHEAP help. The agency said we're out of funds," said William Green with Arkansas Community Actions Agency.
Hearing winter bills may cost more this year is an issue Green is very passionate about. His action group helps 16 other agencies across Arkansas reach out to people in their communities.
"Social programs are being cut and this is going to be the result. A lot of people are going to have harder hardship," Green added.
It's not hard to find these people either. The first house we stopped by we visited with Marcia Newborn about financially, how she would handle paying more for heating.
"I need assistance now. So even more reassuringly I'll need it more-so then," Newborn said after telling us she's receiving no assistance right now.
Newborn knows she's not alone after speaking about her own mother's situation.
"She tosses up whether to pay her bills or buy medication. Know what I'm saying? That's just cutting it too close," she continued.
With the LIHEAP program the most money a person can receive in a year is $700.
If you're looking for ways to save on heating this winter this may be a helpful link:
U.S. Department of Energy expects gas customers to see a rise of about 15-percent in their bills. Heating oil which is common in the New England area of the U.S., could rise by around 20-percent.