LOUISVILLE — As the region’s unusually mild temperatures decline into those more typical of the season, some area residents may have trouble keeping their homes comfortable. For many, it’s during these times that we could all use the support of those around us.
To assist community members who may have difficulty paying their heating bills during the winter months, Kentucky Utilities Company reminds customers the utility matches donations of residential customers who wish to “pay it forward” by contributing to WinterCare Energy Fund, the utility’s primary heating assistance program. The company matches these donations, $1 for $1, throughout the entire year.
The company encourages customers to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the program by making a monthly pledge or one-time contribution. Even rounding up a payment to the next whole dollar makes a difference.
“We all do our best to prepare, but can’t predict when we might need the support of resources in our community,” said KU and LG&E Vice President of Customer Services John Malloy. “Customer donations and matching funds from KU and its sister company, Louisville Gas and Electric Company, have raised more than $2.5 million over the last seven years to help out our neighbors when they need it most and we want to continue to offer that same level of support.”
The WinterCare Energy Fund is a third-party nonprofit program that helps customers in financial crises pay their heating bills.
Eligibility for heating assistance benefits is determined by the WinterCare nonprofit organization. The program assists families in dire financial situations and lack of resources, leaving a family with no heat or the immediate prospect of no heat; and families with a family member who is elderly, very young, seriously ill or disabled. KU plays no part in determining eligibility.
Families in need of assistance will be interviewed by WinterCare service partners starting with the local Community Action Agency.
KU reminds customers to take safety precautions during winter weather with the following tips:
• Have your furnace checked by a certified professional to make sure it’s in peak operating condition. Remember to check your filter each month and replace it as necessary, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. A dirty filter will slow air flow, making the system work harder to keep the indoor air temperature at a consistent, comfortable setting.
• Seal leaks and gaps around your home with caulk, spray foam, or weather-stripping to keep the heat in and the cold out.
• Build an emergency kit that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlights for everyone in the family, fresh batteries for any devices, first-aid kit, and over-the-counter and prescription medications. A complete list of essential emergency kit supplies can be found at www.ready.gov
• Always operate a portable generator safely and outdoors to allow for proper venting. Consult with a qualified, licensed electrician and/or review the manufacturer’s instructions before you install the generator.
• Snow and ice accumulation on tree branches can sometimes cause them to break and fall into power lines. Stay away and consider all fallen wires dangerous.
• KU customers should call 800-981-0600 to report a downed wire or power outage. And KU customers can also report an outage online at lge-ku.com after registering their account.
• KU customers can also report power outages and request updates by text. Text OUTAGE to 4LGEKU (454358). For outage updates text STATUS.
• Be sure to use KU and LG&E’s outage map on your computer or smartphone to receive near real-time information about outages throughout our system, a summary of outages by zip code and county and estimated restoration time.
More information is available at www.lge-ku.com.