With the change in the weather, our local utilities also change their shut-off procedures.
The winter wind has blown into the metro, forcing us to bundle up when we're outside and local utilities change their rules to help keep the heat and the lights on in our homes.
From December 1 through March 31, if the nighttime temperature is 20 degrees or below MUD will not disconnect service.
At OPPD, it’s a judgment call. If the weather is extremely cold they will not disconnect but they will as soon as the cold-snap breaks.
Herschel Tapp says that puts a lot of people a winter-time heat wave away from being disconnected.
“Down the road, it stays warm for a week, it’s gonna get cold again,” he said. “I think an example of that was last winter. We had in the middle of the winter a warm spell. Then all of a sudden bam, we got hit again.”
Herschel will get help with his heating bill from the Salvation Army. He says that will help him a great deal.
He told us, “I got hit hard with co-pays from my doctor’s bills and I just didn’t have enough money. I couldn’t go without the co-pay, without the medicine. I'm diabetic. I have to take insulin.”
Herschel says he is grateful for the help. He says he keeps the temperature in his home at a comfortable 62 degrees.
“I'm luckier than most and I thank God for that,” he said.
Officials at the Salvation Army say they are seeing more people with much higher heating bills who need help. You can lend a hand by checking the Heat Aid box on your MUD bills. In addition, the Red Cross works with OPPD customer in need of assistance. Mid-American Energy says call your customer service representative if you need help paying your bill.