Omaha utility offering financial counseling to avoid shut-off

It has been a long, cold winter and one filled with economic difficulty for many. Many people are behind on their utility bills because extra natural gas was needed to heat their homes. Metropolitan Utilities District in Omaha is once again helping those who are behind on their bills and having a difficult time catching up. M-U-D spokesperson Tracey Christensen says they are teaming up with the United Way of the Midlands to offer financial counseling to their customers. Counselors will be able to help customers figure out a pay-back plan or how to receive assistance from a number of energy programs.
Counselors will be available to the public from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary. Customers are asked to go to the lobby of the M-U-D building at 17th and Harney Streets and ask to see financial counselor. Those who are unable to travel can call the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service to receive assistance.
Christensen says shut-off notices will be sent out soon. If temperatures are 20-degrees or colder, M-U-D will not shut off natural gas services. When temperatures are over 20-degrees, notices will be sent out. If a customer receives a notice, they are urged to seek assistance otherwise they may be in danger of losing their service.
This is the 25th year for the program and in the last two years, counselors have helped nearly 500 customers receive help on payment arrangements.