As temperatures decrease and energy use grows, Chattanooga Gas wants to help low-income families who may be struggling to pay their energy bills. The company reminds its customers that they may be eligible for financial assistance that could help offset winter heating costs and offers tips to make their home more energy efficient.
“We recognize that colder weather can increase strain on household budgets due to higher energy use,” said Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of Chattanooga Gas. “Especially during this pandemic, we are committed to connecting customers with their local social services offices to identify available assistance programs that can help this winter.”
Enrollment for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a federally funded grant program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is underway for eligible customers. The grant provides financial relief to families whose income is below 150 percent of the poverty line. The financial assistance is available until money for the program runs out, so customers are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible.
Additional funding is available to assist eligible customers impacted by COVID-19 through the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act. Customers may apply for this program along with regular LIHEAP assistance through local state agencies in their areas.
Customers in Hamilton and Bradley counties can seek support through the following local organizations:
The Office of Family Empowerment (formerly known as Chattanooga Human Services) in Hamilton County can be reached at 643-6434. The Bradley-Cleveland Community Services Agency can be reached at 479-4111.
Customers outside of these counties may visit our website for a list of local agencies in their areas or call United Way by dialing 2-1-1, 265-8000, or toll free at 1-866-921-3035.
There are also ways to reduce bills in advance. “We encourage all families to be proactive by weatherizing their homes, an easy way to stay comfortable while lowering energy costs,” Mr. Cherry said.
For natural gas customers seeking more control over energy consumption and heating bills, Chattanooga Gas offers these tips for energy efficiency:
Insulate Outlet Gaskets: Place caulk or foam between the electrical box and drywall on switches and outlets located on exterior walls. Then place these foam gaskets behind the plates for a good, airtight seal.
Seal Windows and Leaks with Weather-Stripping: For homes with attic access, make sure the door is insulated and seals tight, much like a refrigerator. Use weather-stripping and screen door latches for a snug seal.
Cover Vents: Help keep cold air out of the basement or crawl space by covering vents during the winter. Use foundation vents to keep floors warmer and heating bills lower.
Insulate Pipes: Insulated pipes heat water more quickly, which also helps to minimize waste.
Install a Water Heater Jacket Cover: A water heater jacket can cut up to 15% off the costs of heating water by preventing energy loss.
For more energy efficiency tips, please visit: https://www.chattanoogagas.com/residential/ways-to-save/energy-saving-tips.html