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Heating assistance available during winter

Residents urged to keep safe during cold months

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) — To assist customers who may have difficulty paying their heating bills during the winter, Kentucky Utilities Company is matching residential customers’ donations to Community WinterCare, the utility’s primary heating assistance program, $1 for $1.

CAKLogo2.fwWith the match in effect from October 1 through March 31, 2015, the utility encourages customers to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the program by making a monthly pledge or a one-time contribution. Even rounding up a payment to the next whole dollar makes a difference.

“Since 2009, customer donations and matching funds from KU and its sister company Louisville Gas and Electric Company have raised nearly $2 million,” said John Malloy, LG&E and KU vice president of customer services.

Community WinterCare is a third-party nonprofit organization 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, 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.

Families in need of assistance will be interviewed by WinterCare service partners, usually local Community Action Agencies or other non-profit assistance groups, who customers should call to apply for funds.

With highs and lows forecast to hover around and below freezing the rest of the week, KU reminds customers to take the following safety precautions during winter weather:

  • 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. KU customers can also report an outage online at lge-ku.com after registering their account.
  • Be sure to use LG&E and KU’s outage map on your computer at lge-ku.com/storm or other mobile devices to receive near real-time information about outages throughout our system, a summary of outages by zip code and county and estimated restoration time.