CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Winter is here and people are heating their homes, but since the pandemic, high unemployment, and a supply shortage, many are struggling to pay their bills.

“In the middle of the winter, when all of a sudden they had a warm day, they came out and cut it off,” said Thomas Auxier, a Clay County resident.

“We can’t keep affording it. We’re on social security, and so we can’t keep paying these high elevated prices for electricity,” said Auxier.

Some people tell me they even have to go without necessities like food to pay their electric bill.

“It comes to the point whether you buy your food, groceries, or your power bill,” said Frida Auxier, a Clay County resident.

“The sad thing is, our electric bill continuously goes up, and up, and up, and absolutely when is it going to stop,” said Auxier.

I spoke with Phil Moye, with Appalachian Power about what to do if you’re behind, or haven’t paid your electric bill.

He says the first thing you should do is notify the electric company to work out a payment plan, so your heat isn’t cut off.

“When people get behind to a certain point, 30 days, 60 days, they’re going to see a disconnect notice in the mail, along with their bill,” said Moye.

Appalachian Power says you can also apply for assistance online.

“When it’s extremely cold like this, that’s not a time when we’re going to cut someone’s service off for non-payment, but that’s a weather dependent thing,” said Moye.