Group that helps with A/C bills stretches for funding - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Group that helps with A/C bills stretches for funding

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The hot and humid weather has many people in Nashville switching on the air conditioner, but one group that helps people with their cooling bills has run out of cash when it's needed most.

The Metro Action Commission offers energy assistance in Nashville, and its funding was supposed to last through June.

However, demand increased, and the group had to look elsewhere for aid.

Now, the organization is switching the way it gets funding, and federal grant dollars will be sent to the Metro Action Commission through the Tennessee Housing and Development Agency.

The transition has pushed back the dates that people can get help paying their bills.

If you've already gotten assistance this summer, you must wait until Oct. 1 to apply again.

Customers who haven't been helped this year can still apply between July 1 to Sept. 30.

According to the National Weather Service, heat kills more people than any other weather-related event each year in the United States. And in 2012, about 25 percent of heat-related deaths in Tennessee occurred in homes that were too hot.

The Metro Action Commission is advising anyone who needs help paying their gas or electric bill to check to see if they qualify for assistance. If they don't qualify for the federal program, there are some state programs that might apply.

A note about saving on your utility bill: The Nashville Electric Service advises you think twice about cranking up the air conditioning when the temperature outside increases.

NES recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees so you cut down on energy use and your costs.

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