FEBRUARY 2, 2007 -- POSTED AT 5:00 P.M. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- As old man winter tightens its grip on Region 8 with more sub-freezing temperatures predicted for the next week, the costs for heating becomes a concern for many Region 8 residents.
Betty Pippenger is a 76 year old woman living alone. She says she tries to keep her thermostat on 68 in the winter and looking over her utility bill, she says things have been okay so far.
"If it doesn't go much higher than it is now, i wouldn't be worried. That's enough, but I could make it," says Pippenger.
But as temperatures continue to drop, Betty says she fears a spike in the bills.
"I'm on a fixed income and I have concerns about it getting really high, my gas bill. I don't really know who to turn to or anything," says Pippenger.
But the good news is there are answers if you have trouble paying your high utility bills.
The Crowley's Ridge Development Council offers a utility assistance program.
You can apply on Mondays and Wednesdays. You will just need a copy of your last heating bill, along with your income information. Craighead Electric Cooperative in Jonesboro also offers ways to help you out in tough times.
"If you get your bill and the shock of it gets you right off the bat, then call us immediately and let us know that you're having trouble and that you expect trouble and we'll work out a payment plan that will work with you," says Danny Pridmore with Craighead Electric.
Assistance that could be the help you need.
"We can provide an extension up to 30 days past your due date. if you need longer than that to pay, then we offer a delayed payment program," says Pridmore.
Pridmore added that Craighead Electric will also send someone to your home to show you ways to make your home more energy efficient, helping you save money.
"The main key is to contact us early. Let us know that you're having a problem and then we'll be glad to work with you," says Pridmore.
Craighead Electric Cooperative
4314 Stadium Blvd.
Jonesboro, AR 72403
Crowley's Ridge Development Council
2114 N. Church St.
Jonesboro, AR 72403