With the price of groceries, gas, and everything else rising as you read this, the weather in Central Texas isn't helping. We use more electricity while the power grid struggles and fears of blackouts increase.

Get our free mobile app

The recent record-breaking temperatures are also causing utility bills to skyrocket, but there is some good news. A new Texas program is hoping to relieve some of the pressure on your bank account.

Texas Utility Help Program

KWTX is reporting the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has started the Texas Utility Help program. The program qualifies eligible low-income homeowners and renters to get assistance for their past due electricity, natural gas, propane, water, and wastewater treatment bills.

Get Help Paying Utility Bills

The program has $50 million in funding coming from the low-income home energy assistance program and low-income household water assistance program.

For electricity, gas, and propane, assistance may be paid up to the total past due amounts owed, plus up to $2,400 for prospective payments, depending on household income. For water and wastewater bills, assistance is available for eligible Texas households with qualified incomes to pay past due or current water and wastewater bills. Assistance may be paid up to the total amount due for payment in order to reconnect water service, avoid disconnection of water service, or for a current bill.

How to Qualify for Utility Assistance

Texas households may be eligible for assistance from Texas Utility Help if their household income is at or below 150% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG).  The maximum household income depends on how many persons are living in the household.

For example, a family of four making $41,625 or less would qualify, while a family of 6 making over $55,785 would not.

Do I Have to Pay Back Utility Help?

Texas Utility Help funds are issued in the form of grants that households do not need to repay. Although payment delivery can vary between customers, those who are approved will have money sent directly to their utility company.

Get more information at texasutilityhelp.com.

10 Easy Things to Grow In Your Texas Garden

Whether you're an amateur, novice, or pro, these plants are easy to grow in any Texas garden.

Blue Bell Ice Cream On The List of Top 15 Brands Nationwide

Blue Bell is the official ice cream of Texas, and my personal favorite. According to a new list of the 15 best brands of ice cream nationwide, Blue Bell was ranked in the middle.

In addition to ingredients, texture, and variety, Tasting Table used Influenster and other site reviews as part of its ranking process.

Scroll on to find out how Blue Bell compared to the number one ice cream, and how all 15 on the list were judged.