As the temperature drops and winter approaches, we’ll soon be turning up the thermostat to stay comfortable, but as you likely heard from relatives as a kid: heat isn’t free. Utility bills will be on the rise in the coming months from increased usage and inflation. For many, winter bills can be tough to deal with. For low-income families in Kansas, the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) offers free weatherization services, aiming to reduce energy expenses and increase savings.ECKAN offers a range of services, including insulation, window repairs, and the installation of energy-efficient LED light bulbs, all geared toward helping eligible households retain more of their hard-earned money. These services, offered at no cost, look to make residences more energy-efficient and ultimately lower their bills by an average of $238 a year.Qualified households get a comprehensive home energy audit, with certified energy auditors conducting an examination to identify inefficiencies and safety concerns within their home. Each household will receive a suggested outline of cost-effective improvements.Both the home audit and the implementation of improvements are carried out free of charge by a network of professional crews and contractors. The program is available year-round and is currently accepting applications with the goal of aiding 282 homes. To be eligible for this free weatherization service, you must live in one of the following Kansas counties: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Chase, Coffey, Douglas, Franklin, Greenwood, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Morris, Osage, Woodson, or Wyandotte. Priority is given to individuals over 60, families with children, or individuals with disabilities. Eligibility is based on federal income guidelines, and if someone in your household receives SSI, TANF, or utility assistance from LIEAP, then your household is automatically eligible.  For more information and to apply, visit or call ECKAN at 785-242-6413.

Prior to joining The Community Voice, he worked as a reporter & calendar editor with The Pitch, writing instructor with The Kansas City Public Library, and as a contributing food writer for Kansas...

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