Winter doesn’t officially start until December, but now is a good time to start thinking about keeping your heating bills down. And if you can’t afford to do that on your own, an area organization might be able to help.
If you didn’t start thinking about winter utility bills until this weekend’s cold snap, you aren’t alone.
Economic Security’s Ryan Peterson says his phone starts ringing more this time of year for that very reason. And, he says residents going through the application process for the first time might be surprised to learn they are eligible for the weatherization program.
“We take applications all year round, but a lot of people associate the cold weather with getting their house weatherized and saving on utility bills, so we encourage everybody to call anytime they think about it to see if they qualify for our program,” Peterson explained.
And even if you don’t qualify for the Weatherization Program, Peterson says there’s some low-cost ways of making your home more energy-efficient.
“So, these are gaskets and switch outlet covers, so they stop airflow from coming in down wiring chases in the attic or through the crawl space,” Peterson added. “So they just stop air from coming in from around your outlets and switches in your house and they go behind the cover plate.”
Other products that insulate appliances like water heaters can also pay for themselves in the long run. In other cases, depending upon income levels, some individuals and families may qualify for help in paying energy bills once winter finally does set it in a few months.
“So right now for elderly and disabled residents only, we are doing what’s called pre-qualification,” said Debbie Markman with Economic Security.. “They can get an application online, they can call us, or they may have been mailed an application and at that point, they can go ahead and and fill it in and what we’re doing right now is pre-qualifying folks.”
For more information about the Weatherization Program, who qualifies for it, and how to apply, you can call (417)781-4437 or visit their website by clicking here.