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KUB kicks off Project Help to help families in need pay utility bills this winter

With some colder months ahead of East Tennessee, thousands of families may struggle with the rising costs of heating their homes.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Utilities Board is helping people who struggle with illness, injury, or lost their job pay their utility bills. It is also helping people with disabilities and seniors who are having a hard time with rising costs. 

The Project Help program kicked off on Jan. 4. KUB said last year, this project helped more than 200 families. It provides emergency heating assistance for people in need, helping families heat their homes during times when prices soar.

“Project Help depends solely on community and individual contributions,” said Tiffany Martin, KUB vice president and chief customer officer.

The Knoxville-Knox Co. Community Action Committee (CAC) administers Project Help. It received community donations, and KUB said 100% of that money goes to people in need.

KUB said this project is meant for people who may have had an unexpected event happen to them. For example, they can help if you get sick, get an injury or lose your job. The project also helps people with disabilities and seniors who may struggle with rising costs.

The Project Help program is meant to help lower-income families through periods like the recent blast of arctic air in East Tennessee, such as one couple who is now expecting a baby. They said their last KUB bill came as a surprise.

"Everything in the population right now is just going up, anyways. Not even with utilities. It's food going up and clothes are going up," said Carter.

They said they are budgeting for occasions like higher bills and for the birth of their child.

Project Help is available to people based on their yearly income and the size of their household. They also need to have a final utility notice. The income limits are listed below by household size.

  • 1 - $19,141 up to $38,280
  • 2 - $25,861 up to $51,270 
  • 3 - $32,581 up to $65,160 
  • 4 - $39,301 up to $78,600 
  • 5 - $46, 021 up to $92,040 
  • 6 - $52,741 up to $105,480 
  • 7 - $59,461 up to $118,920 
  • 8 - $66,181 up to $132,360 

People can connect with the Project Help program by calling 865-637-6700. Other kinds of utility assistance are available through the Knoxville-Knox County CAC. Their programs are listed online.

They can also donate to the project by visiting a Food City or Home Federal Bank between Jan. 4 and Feb. 7, or they can sign up online.

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