WakeHELPS program provides $500 lifeline for those struggling with utility bills amid COVID-19

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The relentless heat we've endured in recent days means higher utility bills for some customers. It's a real problem for people who've been laid off, lost their jobs or can't return to work due to COVID-19 concerns.

"In the city of Raleigh for example, roughly 10,000 customers owe $125 or more on their water bills. And Duke Energy says roughly 13,000 customers own a total of about $5.1 million in unpaid power bill," said Wake County Board of Commissioners chairman Greg Ford


Now the county's offering relief for those struggling to keep up with their financial obligations.

It's called WakeHELPS, a program that uses 5 million in federal money to provide cash strapped people up to $500 of assistance. The money can be used to resolve past due electricity, water, gas, wastewater or solid waste services.

Applications from Wake County residents whose finances took a hit from COVID-19 related issues and have past due bills from March 1 or later can apply at covid19.wakegov.com/wakehelps/

"And we'll accept applications until October, or until the funding runs out," said Ford.

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