Thousands of Iowa households are behind on their utility bills in the wake of winter’s subzero weather.
The Iowa Utilities Board figures say that as of February, more than 243,000 households were in arrears – 4 percent more than a year ago.
Because of the cold and higher costs of natural gas and propane, the amount of the debt has hit $46 million – 40 percent more than in February 2013.
LaRae Lyons of the Community Action Agency of Siouxland says over 3000 Woodbury County residents applied for low income home energy bill assistance last fall.
April 1 marks the end of the winter moratorium on utility shutoffs for those households.
OC….April 1st. :18
Lyons says Siouxland residents behind on their utility bills who have not applied for help need to do that before April 30th.
OC…TO THEIR VENDOR. ;11
William Brand is administrator of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in Iowa, and he says 38,000 of the Iowa households in the program are behind on their bills by a total of $11.7 million.
Associated Press contributed to this story