RICHLAND,WA-The people working Richland's energy assistance program say they expect more people will be looking for help this winter.
The city sent out more than 200 letters to senior and homebound citizens who signed up Thursday for energy bill discounts.
But with temperatures dropping and the cost of living rising, Jennifer Hayes in the utility billing department says she expects more families will look for help this winter to pay their heating bills.
"We've seen a lot of customers struggling," Hayes says, "unable to find jobs, having a hard time paying their utility bills because of the economy."
About 500 people qualify for the Richland's energy assistance program.
The federal government this year has given $900,000 to the Benton Franklin Community Action Committee so it can help elderly, disabled, and low income families pay their energy bills.