We have recently had a large number of clients coming in with utility bills that have service scheduled for disconnect. It is very important for clients to request assistance in a timely manner, before the utilities are disconnected or scheduled for shutoff. When utilities are shut off, sometimes the entire bill and an additional deposit must be paid before the utilities will be turned back on. Securing payment for a deposit can be difficult for many of our clients. Don't let bills pile up month after month before coming in to request assistance.
The hot temperatures that we've been experiencing will result in higher utility bills for many of us. Here are some tips that may help lower your utility bill. Open windows to create a cross-wise breeze, using the wind to naturally cool your home. Turn off fans when you leave the room. Have your air conditioner serviced routinely, to help improve efficiency. For window air conditioners, inspect and maintain the window seals to stop cool air from escaping. Close off seldom-used rooms and close the heating/cooling vents inside. Clean vents or registers, and ensure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes. Close curtains and shades on south-facing windows during the day to block the sun's heat. Install a programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat as high as is comfortable, and raise the set point when you're away from home or sleeping. Insulate your attic and walls, and seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. On hot days, consider using an outdoor grill instead of your oven, which can heat your home. To remove heat and humidity from your home, use the bathroom fan when taking a shower or bath, and a range hood when cooking. Turn off exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.
Call our information line, (260) 449-7000 X312, if you need assistance. To request assistance, individuals should come in on their letter day before 9:00 a.m. Letter days are determined by the first letter of the last name. Assigned letter days are as follows: Monday A-F, Tuesday G-L, Wednesday M-R, and Thursday S-Z. Letter days do not apply when requesting medical or burial assistance.
Individuals should bring the following items on appointment day: a copy of the bill(s) you are seeking assistance with, verification of household income for the past sixty days, paid bill receipts for the past sixty days, receipts for items purchased in the last sixty days, your rental agreement, lease, or mortgage payment booklet or statement, government-issued unexpired picture identification such as a state id or drivers license for all adults in the household, social security cards for everyone in the household, birth certificates for all minors in the household, a copy of the most current income tax return if filed, or W2 if a return has not been filed, and bank or credit union balance statements. Have receipts grouped together by category. Bringing in all the appropriate information could result in fewer and shorter visits with the investigator.
Have some fun, during the high temperatures.
Most of us will take part in an Independence Day celebration. Share the meaning of Independence Day with your loved ones as you celebrate. Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now known as the United Kingdom). It is commonly associated with fireworks, barbecues, concerts, baseball games, and family reunions. Be careful and watch over any fireworks being used at your home.
Enjoy the fun and food as you celebrate on the 4th of July!
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee