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Heartland heatwave: Energy assistance programs available in Omaha & Council Bluffs area as temperatures rise

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 09:59:19-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV)  — Rose Kimbrough says she’s certainly felt the impacts of higher energy prices.

"The light bill is high," she said. "It’s higher than usual."

Kimbrough spent her Monday afternoon at the Salvation Army Burrows Center, where they’re handing out free box fans to help people stay cool.

She said her apartment has air conditioning, but it needs a boost.

With the heat settling in, many who struggle to keep up with their bills might be thinking twice before they crank up their A/C, organizations in the Heartland want people to know some of their options and what help is best available.

Both the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and MidAmerican Energy can connect customers to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which helps families nationwide with energy costs.

Both providers also offer their own energy assistance programs. OPPD does not disconnect power when temperatures are above 95 degrees or the heat index above 105 degrees is forecasted to occur in the following 24 to 48 hours.

At the Salvation Army, staff said they also help those struggling and urge them to reach out for recommendations.

"In addition to the fan drive, we may have other ways to help people with utility assistance during the summer," Todd Andrews of the Salvation Army said. "They need to call in to get more specifics on that because there are certain situations where we refer people and certain situations where we can help them directly."

Kimbrough said she's grateful for the fan she received.

"I do recommend it for anyone that needs the help," Kimbrough said.

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