Tue., May 24, 2011 1:48pm (EDT)

No Money Likely For Low Income Summer Cooling Help
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA   —  
(photo courtesy Leo Reynolds-Flickr)
(photo courtesy Leo Reynolds-Flickr)
Air conditioning expenses will soon rise for Georgians as temperatures settle into the 90’s and push toward triple digits. But for the state’s low income residents, there may be little to no help to pay those bills this summer.

Every year, Georgia and other states get millions of federal dollars for energy assistance programs. The money is given first to qualified applicants for winter heating bills. Any leftover money goes to summer cooling assistance.

But because of a still sputtering economy, more need in winter likely has exhausted money for the summer.

Brian Singleton is in Waycross, with one of 20 community action centers statewide that disperse funds.

“We’re not about repeat customers. Our goal is to help people become self sufficient. A lot of people, instead of generational poverty, have experienced situational poverty because of the economy.”

In November, Georgia got $87 million in federal dollars, but officials say most of that has already been used up.