COLUMBIA, Mo. - According to Communication specialist for Water and Light Lucia Bourgeois, income-qualified Columbia Water and Light and Boone Electric customers have the ability to exchange their old, inefficient window air conditioners for free.
Bourgeois said the Window Air Conditioner Exchange program runs through Aug. 30 and only while supplies last, but only for certain qualifying customers. The criteria to qualify can be found here.
Having air conditioners that are less expensive to run allows households to save money through a lower utility bill.
"During the summer, it's particularly important to put up the temperature in your thermostat if you are not going to be home, it can have a major impact on your bill," Bourgeois said.
Water and Light officials said with temperatures reaching around 96 to 100 degrees during the summer, residents should have their thermostats set around 84 degrees.
Bourgeois said 84 degrees is doable especially when no one is in the home, adding that every one degree will save residents a few dollars on their utility bill. Overall Bourgeois said anytime during the summer if residents set their thermostats high while not home, residents will save more money.
Specialists also recommend avoiding using appliances during the day that generate more heat, like dishwashers, ovens, washers and dryers.
In the event that a customer finds their air conditioner has broken down, Bourgeois said Water and Light is in partnership with the Voluntary Action Center which has a Window A/C exchange. That can be found here.
Other similar assistance can be found here.
Bourgeois suggested those living in apartments to contact their landlords for assistance.
According to the Water and Light specialist, below are the eligibility requirements for the Window Air Conditioner Exchange program:
- Be a current Columbia Water and Light electric or Boone Electric customer.
- Have an older, less efficient and/or broken window unit to exchange.
- Have an annual income of less than 200 percent of the poverty level.
Interested residents must bring in the following items to participate:
- Proof of current physical Boone County address (IDs or leases will not be accepted).
- Identification for everyone at the address (originals, no copies).
- Proof of all income for everyone at the address (including food stamps and TANF)
- Current utility bill for the address.
- An older, inefficient window air conditioner to exchange.