SHERMAN, TX -- Colder temperatures are on the way, and as those heating bills go up it can be hard for low income families just to stay warm. There is help for those in need.
TCOG is helping low income families stay warm with two different programs. Utility companies are also offering assistance by using rebate programs. One local heating company says if the help is there, taking advantage of it could help save lives.
One area agency wants to make sure everyone is warm throughout the winter.
"We don't want any body to be caught, you know, with not sufficient fuel to get through the winter time," Brenda Smith said.
Texoma Council of Government energy services Director, Brenda Smith, says the help is there for low income families in Cooke, Fannin and Grayson County who qualify.
So far, more than 15,000 families have received some assistance with their heating bills this year, and TCOG is ready to help about 100 more.
"We have been fortunate to receive sufficient funding to hopefully serve the most vulnerable households in our area," Smith said.
TCOG has more than 200 people on a waiting list for weatherization assitance, a free program that helps homeowners make their homes and heaters more energy efficient.
Oklahomans can take advantage of Oklahoma Natural Gas' energy efficient program. All you do is get your heating unit checked by a licensed contractor, send the copy of the bill to ONG and they'll mail you a $30.00 rebate.
"If it's got a crack it pushes air into your combustion chamber, and it makes it want to blow back out. And that's the first sign of problems," Larry Qualls said.
Larry Qualls, owner of Central Electric in Durant, says it's a good idea to get the inspection because it could save lives.
"We come out and we use and instrument like this right here. This is a fluk, and it's a carbon monoxide meter. And we check for any carbon monoxide around the unit, coming out the vents in your home, and make sure that that is clear," Qualls said.
Heaters can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a silent and deadly killer. They're also responsible for house fires, which pick up during the winter months. If your heater is working properly your bill could go down, and the risk of a fire or deadly accident could too.
TCOG Utility Assistance: 903-813-3541