Agencies prepare for utility increases

Officials are devising ways for low-income residents to pay for higher bills this winter.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:11 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and other government agencies will meet today in Jefferson City to address ways that low-income residents can pay their utility bills, which are expected to increase by as much as $100 this winter.

Anita Randolph, director of the Missouri Energy Center at the natural resources department, said state and local organizations are being called together to “figure out how we can make our services as effective as they can possibly be.”

“We are hoping that the participants will take away some ideas for communicating with low-income households the services that are available to assist them,” said Kathy Deters, spokeswoman for the natural resources department.

One example of services available to families is the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which will be discussed at the summit. The program gives money to local agencies, which distributes the funds to low-income individuals who cannot pay their heating bills.

Kevin Kelly, spokesman for the Missouri Public Service Commission, said that “that there is real potential for higher prices this winter.”

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