IF this week’s cold snap is anything to go by, Orange charities can expect to be inundated with requests for help from people struggling to pay their power bills.
St Vincent de Paul diocesan executive officer Frank Moes said the charity was already bracing itself for an influx.
“Judging by the weather on the weekend it won’t be long before we all start turning our heaters on and there will be people struggling to pay their bills,” he said.
Mr Moes said many of the charity’s clients lived in government housing which, in some cases, was ill-equipped to withstand the cold Orange winters.
“Some of the residences aren’t insulated very well and their appliances aren’t terribly energy efficient,” he said.
“Some of the most vulnerable people, with the least amount of money available to them, live in houses that are the least efficient.
“I think they (the government) need to upgrade its housing stock to improve the situation in future years.”
Mr Moes said in years gone by people often only heated one room in the house and left the bedrooms cold, however times have changed.
“People’s expectations have changed, people often want the whole houses heated,” he said.
Mr Moes said June and July were the months when demand for power bill assistance usually peaked.
St Vincent de Paul is asking anyone with good quality blankets and bedspreads to donate them to its McNamara Street store during business hours.