VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As the temperatures start to fall, energy bills start to rise.

Officials said the average electric bill goes up nearly 20% in the average household during the winter months. Luckily, the Western Indiana Community Action Agency is here to help.

Stacey Bennett is the energy assistance program director, and she went over the details of the energy assistance program.

“It is a federally funded, income-based program that assists individuals with their utility bills throughout the winter months. It helps ease some of the burden during the winter months when the bills are extremely high. We are able to help ease some of the burden,” said Bennett.

There are also multiple ways that homeowners themselves can make sure their appliances are as efficient as possible. John Bays is the owner of Bays Heating and Cooling, and he gives his easiest and most effective energy-saving tip.

“A lot of people don’t keep their filters changed. That makes a huge difference in how much energy or how much gas your appliance will consume. That’s a very easy thing for a homeowner to do,” said Bays.

For some, energy assistance is necessary to properly support their families and stay safe during this time of year. Bennett noted these people will always be at the front of their minds, and it’s important to take care of those in need.

“A lot of the folks we serve are disabled, elderly, or veterans that do deserve the help,” added Bennett.

This assistance is available for anyone who resides in Vigo, Clay, or Putnam County. Anyone that is interested can view the income guidelines here or view the application here.