Hope for those struggling to pay for electricity

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas man relies on his electricity to help keep him alive, but now he is in danger of losing that life-line.

"I received a disconnection notice," said Dennis Morris holding up his electric bill.

Morris owes more than $450 to his electric company.

"I get my check on the third, but because of paying bills and buying my medicines, I'm having to go overdraft every month just to make ends meet," Morris said.

He is among a growing number of Americans who are making tough financial choices, and the summer months often mean higher electric bills. However, some electric companies have programs to help keep people out of the dark.

"We wanted to help those customers that needed it the most, said TXU Energy Spokesperson Sophia Stoller.

However, Morris said he has had trouble getting on a plan.

"Love Inc. I've talked to them," Morris said. "They're one of the ones that help with electricity. They said they're out of funds until the first. The first [isn't] going to do me [any] good."

"I get $15 a month food stamps, I go to Christian Information to get food, I go to Salvation Army and get food, just to make ends meet," said Morris as he choked back tears.  "And, still I can't make it with the electric bill. My biggest cost, over half my check goes to the electric bill."

Energy companies said keeping in mind a few energy-saving tips could help some. For example, turn the thermostat up four degrees when you leave your home, identify air leaks and apply weather stripping to your windows and doors, install blinds in your windows, and clean your fixtures, lamps, and lenses every six to 24 months.

For more information on how you can get help with your electric bill, go to "TXU Energy Bill Assistance."

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