[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Winter is quickly approaching along with freezing temperatures. By now, many of us have unpacked our warm coats, stocked up on pumpkin spice lattes, or pulled out the snow blower. Of course, no one enjoys scraping car windows, shoveling the driveway or battling the seasonal flu. However, there are a few positive things that come along with cold temperatures — starting up the fireplace, enjoying a warm cup of hot cider, or seeing holiday decorations around the city. As the temperature quickly moves to the single digits, the usage of utilities often tends to rise.

The power of electricity is critical during this season to ensure we can all enjoy the warmth of our homes and the light at night. Having these utilities turned off during the winter season could make life difficult, especially if you are elderly. Many of us “baby boomers” have aging parents who we look after, or provide assistance. Perhaps, you have received a call from your father or mother indicating that his or her electricity was turned off, but they knew nothing about it until it was out.

Sometimes elderly relatives forget to pay their bills in a timely manner and ignore the notices from the electric company that their service will be disconnected. Having the utilities disconnected on a chilly, winter day would surely take the positives out of the winter season. The reconnection of the electricity involves an additional charge, penalties for the prior non-payment and the hassle of not having power until the service is restored. Not to mention, very unhappy parents!

Most utility companies offer customers the option of having additional people on billing records. Having your parent(s), or the primary contact person call the utility company and request that you, a trusted family member, be added to the bill would certainly help provide backup to a frigid scenario.

 

[/vc_column_text][heading]So, where do you start?[/heading][vc_column_text]This can be accomplished by sitting with your parent(s) while he or she calls and provides identification. You will be prompted with questions to quickly work through the details and secure a plan. You will want to confirm the instructions with your family member at the end of this process. With your name added to the bill, you can then check the status with appropriate registration on the utility’s web site. You can also have the mailing address for the bill changed to your own house, in case your family member loses their mail often.

Another option is to send a Power of Attorney form to the utility company requesting either to be added to the bill or that any future bills are sent directly to you.

In Louisville, Kentucky, which is served by Louisville Gas and Electric Company, the phone number to call customer service to arrange this is 502-589-1444. Visit your local utility company’s website for contact information.

Having a chance to review your elderly relative’s bill and payment history is very useful if they are not able to keep up with the receipt and payment of bills in a regular manner. Make sure this winter season is filled with warmth![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]