ATLANTA -- Record temperatures translating to skyrocketing power bills mean difficult times for many who are trying to pay the escalating costs.
In one of the toughest heat waves in years and with air conditioners running nonstop, power bills are over the top --sometimes as high as four or five times what homeowners usually see.
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"I'm figuring at least $500. I live in a brick house when the summer rolls around and you don't get a lot of clouds in the sky, it heats up like a brick oven," said Atlanta homeowner Dawn Hollingsworth. "For people on a fixed income, I feel really bad. We donate to Georgia Power. We always pay extra to help people in these times."
The extra money that power customers kick in goes directly to the Salvation Army and its Project Share, which last year gave $4 million to more than 50,000 people in order to help pay power bills.
In order to receive any of the funds, people must qualify.
"You must be experiencing a financial crisis with documented reasons, like unemployment, illness in the family, or be in the 'at risk' population, elderly, children in the home," said Michael Bradford, director of Project Share.
Georgia Power is also working to help those who cannot make immediate payment on their power bills. They give a $20 monthly discount to seniors and low income families.
"We will attempt to make payment arrangements with them if they can't pay the whole bill. We will work with them to allow them to make partial payment as long as they make some payment in a good faith effort to pay their bill," said Georgia Power's Lynn Wallace.
The goal for the Salvation Army and Georgia Power is to keep the lights and the air conditioners on for everyone.