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Cold snap could bring high electric bills

Learn what assistance is available to prevent payment shock.
Wiregrass United Way 211 is the first place to go in Dothan for all types of assistance.
Wiregrass United Way 211 is the first place to go in Dothan for all types of assistance.
Captain Thomas Broome with the Salvation Army says his organization helps with electric bills, food and other types of assistance when funding is available.
Captain Thomas Broome with the Salvation Army says his organization helps with electric bills, food and other types of assistance when funding is available.

Payment shock is what many experience when their bill amounts are suddenly well above their monthly budgets.  But there are options that many people may not know about. 

Wiregrass Electric Director of Member Services Brad Kimbro says they offer a levelized billing program.  This will even out the bill over twelve months to prevent payment shock.

“We do expect with the cold weather some of our customers will have the highest bill they’ve had since 2010,” said Kimbro.  “It allows people to budget better and have more of a constant of what their power bill is going to be.  It takes the weather out of it.”

Kimbro says they also refer customers to many local agencies that have helped people cover high electric bills. 

“They’re able to come to our office and if we have the funding we’re able to help with those things,” said Salvation Army Captain Thomas Broome.

The Salvation Army is one of many agencies offering help to people in Dothan.  But the main moral of the electric story is don’t wait until you’re in trouble to call for options.

“If they’re having problems or think they’re going to have problems, give us a call before a disconnection happens.  Once the disconnection happens, it kind of ties our hands,” said Kimbro.

And most agencies also say don’t let the bill get out of hand before reaching out.

“It has to be a current bill.  We don’t pay back payments and we don’t pay any overages or anything like that,” Broome said.

For help with your electric bill and for other assistance, you can reach Wiregrass United Way 211. They will refer you to the right place based on your financial situation.


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