TRUMBULL COUNTY Fund gets more cash to help people with electricity bills

The price of electricity has not gone up, an electric company spokesman says.
WARREN -- A cash infusion will allow Trumbull County Community Action Program to reboot a program to help people who have fallen behind on electric bills.
The money, $19,800, will be gone within a week if people continue to apply for the program at the same rate, said Janice Ferebee, director of TCAP's summer cooling program.
Many more people have been getting help from the agency for electrical bills this summer than last.
Before running out of money in July, the agency made payments toward overdue bills for 245 households. Last year, 155 customers were helped with their bills, which seem to be higher than in the past, Ferebee said.
"They are using their air conditioners, they are using their fans, and their rate of usage is rising," she said.
Applications: This summer, 18 people a day have been calling the agency to apply for up to $175 toward overdue electrical bills. Air conditioners are also available to people with upper respiratory problems who meet income guidelines, Ferebee said.
The summer cooling program has been allotted more money this year than last -- $63,800 including the latest grant, compared with $23,000 last year.
It is typical for the money to run out before the demand does, she said.
The price of electricity has actually declined from last summer, and the heat wave last week likely just generated a short spike in electrical usage, said Joe Mosbrook an Ohio Edison spokesman.

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