Applications open in Meck County for federal help with utility bills

CHARLOTTE — As the weather turns colder, some Charlotte residents may be forced to choose between feeding their families or heating their home. But there’s help available so they don’t have to.

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program helps those in need of help with their power bills.

One local mom of two who uses LIEAP works full time and still needs help to pay her bills.

“My duke energy bill over the winter could hit over $200 in a 30-day period,” Draughon said. “Sometimes I still come up short so it balances out when I can’t make ends meet.”

The federally funded program is ran by Meck County officials and has nearly double what it had last year to give, which is more $6-million dollars.

Without the funding, Draughon isn’t sure if the power would be on for her family.

“I think the lights would be out, lights would be out,” Draughon said.

To qualify, you have to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and meet some income requirements. For a single person, that’s $1, 472 a month. For a family of four, it’s $3,006 a month.

Depending on your income and number of people in your home, the assistance could be anywhere from $300 to $500. It’s paid straight to your utility account.

Whatever is not used will go back to the state. The county is encouraging people to apply.

“It has nothing to do with your ego, your pride, or being shameful. The money is here from the state, from the government, use it,” Draughon said.

Applications are open until March or until the money runs out.

Click here to apply.

(WATCH BELOW: Plan to pay more for power bills, if you aren’t already)