Help is available for KUB customers finding it difficult to pay heating bills.

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(WBIR) KUB customers are bracing for another electric bill that's higher than usual due to the extremely cold winter temperatures.

Lonnie Gregg's current KUB bill, due on February 24th, is $498.48.

"I don't know much more we can do. Normally someone could work overtime or do more to make more money during the heavy winters to pay the bills, but being a 100 percent disabled veteran, I can't do that," he said.

Gregg, a Navy veteran, said he suffers from Sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that's left him with one-third of each of his lungs. he now has to use a 5-liter oxygen tank, and said he cannot work. His wife only works part-time as a school crossing guard.

For people like the Greggs, there's an emergency heating assistance program called Project Help.

"Project Help has been a long safety net for KUB customers in the KUB service area who have final notices and have difficulties paying their utility bills," explained Cecelia Waters, director of energy and housing services for the Knoxville - Knox County Community Action Committee.

From January 6 to February 1, Food City and Home Federal Bank collected donations from their customers for Project Help. A total of $26,591 was collected. Waters said 100 percent of the donations will go toward helping people who need assistance paying their heating bills.

"Last year over 400 households received assistance from Project Help," she aid.

For information on how to apply for Project Help assistance, call the Community Action Committee Center for Energy and Community Services at (865) 637 - 6700. Information can also be found by visiting http://www.kub.org.

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