High Heat Means High Electric Bills - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

High Heat Means High Electric Bills

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DOVER, Del.- Summer is usually a hot time of year, but the prolonged heat in 2012 is hard on people's wallets. This is the time of year when many people struggle to pay their electric bills.

Donna Hayes lives in Dover and she says she often has to turn off her air conditioning because it is too expensive for her fixed income.

"It takes a chunk out of your money every month where you can't buy food even," Hayes said. "We can't buy gas, I let my car sit all week."

Hayes isn't alone in the struggle. Rebecca Vinson says her electric bill has jumped to more than $400 a month, but she can't turn down the air because of her husbands health issues.

"We turn the vents off in some rooms but other than it just runs," she said. "If it's hot, we've got to be cool."

Modern Maturity Center Director Cate Lyons said many elderly people are trying to save money on their bills but it can be bad for their health.

On a hot day the center will serve up to 500 seniors looking for a place to cool off.

"Some of them think it's better to not run it and keep the window shut as well, which can be a real danger because they can become overcome with the heat before they know it," she said.

Catholic Charities in Kent County used to run a summer cooling program and helped those who can't pay their utility bills but they have not received any federal money for a program this year.

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