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The Rebound: Saving on cooling costs as a heat wave moves in

Also utility bill help if needed
Posted at 10:15 AM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 15:27:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The temperature is on the rise and the heat wave is going to stick around for the weekend.

As we struggle to stay cool through the hot weather, one agency, Utah Community Action, is helping through its heat program.

The heat program is a federally-backed utility assistance program set up to help people in need.

"This utility assistance is available to them year-round so that it can help with the cost of the increase with both in winter they have the gas and in the summer it tends to be the power that goes up as it gets hot and we turn the air conditioner on.” said Jackie Drury, the heat program manager with Utah Community Action.

This weekend its going to be especially hot, causing people to turn on the air conditioning and run up the power bill.

"There’s up to $700 available for regular heat benefit and this season only it’s a one time supplemental payment that were making due to the COVIS pandemic," Drury said. "So it’s like a COVID relief type thing we’re giving an additional $550 towards every single person who has applied any time this season."

To qualify for assistance you must be within 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline, be responsible for a utility bill and one person in the household has to be a US citizen or qualified non-citizen.

"I’m always surprised that people think they’re over our income guideline and they’re not or they think somebody else needs this benefit more than I do and that’s so not true,” Drury said.

She encourages everyone who thinks they’re close to the cutoff to apply.

To apply for this program and learn about Utah Community Action's COVID-19 food and resource programs, click here.

If you're looking for other ways to save money and keep cool, Rocky Mountain Power has several suggestions.

"Make sure you’re doing your laundry and the dishwasher and if you’re going to be doing any kind of baking, make sure you’re doing that in the evening hours so you’re not putting more heat into the house,” said Tiffany Erickson, spokesperson for Rocky MountainPpower.

She also suggests keeping the windows and blinds closed during the day to help keep the sun out.

If you’d like to see a breakdown of how your household is using energy you can visit Rocky Mountain Power’s website.

A full individualized home energy report will help you see what you’re using most and where you're spending the most money.

Salt Lake County is providing a pair of cooling centers from noon to 7 p.m. from Friday through Tuesday June 2. One is at the Salt Palace Convention Center downtown and the other at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy.

FOX 13 wants to help Utahns get back to work, make ends meet and manage the pressure of the coronavirus crisis through personal stories and practical information.

Visit The Rebound home page for complete coverage. You can also get answers to your questions from hundreds of Utahns in The Rebound Facebook Group.