Agencies Slammed for Heating Bill Assistance

Published 03/17 2014 06:19PM

Updated 03/17 2014 07:17PM

Evansville, Ind. - Utility Companies are no longer barred from turning off people's heat and it's still tough for people to pay their bills.
So some are looking to tristate agencies for help. People in Evansville were lining up at places like the Pigeon Township Trustee's office for emergency aid. Many have struggled to pay their heating bills but, many are finding out even those funds are limited.

"It just kept going up higher and higher; till it got to $1300".

Mary Johnson says her heating bills were very high this winter. Too high for her to keep up with payments. She has had her electricity shut off in the past and she doesn't want to go through that again.

"I sat in the dark in the cold for at least 3 or 4 months" she says.
At 68 and a diabetic Johnson turned to the Pigeon Township Trustee's office for help but; she isn't the only one.

"it's been amazingly crazy! You don't have a seat in the house", says an employee at the office.

It was a packed house today with the moratorium ending and folks trying to prevent disconnection by asking the trustee to pay at least  a portion  of their bills.

Trustee, Mary Hart says, "they'll range anywhere from $500 to $1200. It just depends on what type of housing they live in".
Hart says this particular season was difficult for everyone. She says, her office has provided close to $12,000 in assistance so far this year.

"I'm on a fixed income and it's hard, I try to do the best I can", added Mary Johnson.

Johnson wasn't able to receive the entire sum of her latest bill. She says she is now seeking assistance from other agencies.

"it's just ugly", she says.

Vectren tells Eyewitness News they are aware of the High heating bills due to freezing temperatures this season.
They also encourage customers to call and make payment arrangements if they are having trouble.

Report by Fadia Patterson


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