The state will be sending almost $50 million to low-income households this winter and next summer to help with increasingly unmanageable utility costs.

On Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced that the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will administer $48 million in grants to 18 local community service agencies. These agencies receive applications from individuals seeking assistance with utility bills.

This comes at a time when power and water costs are rapidly increasing. Alabama Power has already announced a rate adjustment of around $10 per month, set to start in 2023. This should result in an additional cost of around $6.81 for residential customers using 1,000 kWh per month. This is the third Alabama Power rate increase approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission in 2022.

Southerners are also most likely to reduce basic expenses to afford energy bills. Alabama had the fifth-highest percentage of Southern households reducing basic expenses for the same purpose in the last 12 months.

Other utilities, such as Birmingham Water Works, have also decided to raise rates for 2023. The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) first proposed raising rates by an average of 8.3% but later passed an increase equivalent to the rate hike for 2022 at 3.9%. This rate increase comes in spite of ongoing controversy within the utility. 

The agencies receiving grants and the respective phone numbers to reach them are as follows:

  • $1.25 million to Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama Inc. (Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale) 256-766-4330

  • $2.29 million to Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama Inc. (Autauga, Chilton, Elmore and Shelby) 205-755-1204

  • $1.16 million to Community Action Committee Inc. of Chambers-Tallapoosa-Coosa (Chambers, Coosa and Tallapoosa) 256-825-4287

  • $1.3 million to Alabama Council on Human Relations Inc. (Lee) 334-821-8336

  • $3.37 million to Community Action Partnership of Huntsville-Madison and Limestone Counties Inc. (Madison and Limestone) 256-851-9800

  • $4.77 million to Mobile Community Action Inc. (Mobile and Washington) 251-457-5700

  • $2.4 million to Montgomery Community Action Committee and Community Development Corporation Inc. (Montgomery) 334-263-3474

  • $3 million to Community Action Partnership of North Alabama Inc. (Cullman, Lawrence, Marion, Morgan and Winston) 256-355-7843

  • $7.8 million to Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama Inc. (Blount, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall and St. Clair) 256-638-4430

  • $2.9 million to Organized Community Action Program Inc. (Bullock, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Lowndes and Pike) 334-566-1712

  • $3.09 million to Community Action Agency of South Alabama (Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Marengo, Monroe and Wilcox) 251-626-2646

  • $2.12 million to Community Action Agency of Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun and Cleburne (Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Randolph and Talladega) 256-362-6611

  • $5.57 million to Community Service Programs of West Alabama Inc. (Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa) 205-752-5429

  • $939,044 to Walker County Community Action Agency Inc. (Walker County) 205-221-4010

  • $2.85 million to Southeast Alabama Community Action Partnership Inc. (Barbour, Coffee, Geneva, Henry and Houston) 334-347-0881

  • $476,371 to Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corporation Inc. (Pickens) 205-367-1283

  • $1.13 million to Macon-Russell Community Action Agency Inc. (Macon and Russell) 334-727-6100

  • $1.37 million to Community Action of Etowah County Inc. (Etowah) 256-546-9271

The funds for the grants come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.