Atmos Energy is supporting the customers of Ellis County to make sure those in need get back on their feet. The company is aiming to help customers pay their natural gas bill to remove outstanding debt, ensuring houses are warm during the beginning winter months.

On Friday, Jan. 5, Ellis County residents who use Atmos Energy will have assistance paying their bill as the holiday season comes to a close. From 9 a.m. — 3 p.m. customers will have this opportunity at Waxahachie CARE, located at 1208 Ferris Ave.

Two to three Atmos Energy agents will be present to pay off natural gas bills. Funding will be available to pay past due debt, service charges, deposits or even provide credit toward future bills. Atmos agents will also waive fees to turn gas back on for residents.

To be eligible, an Ellis County resident must already be an Atmos Energy residential customer, and the bill must be in the applicant’s name. Residents must bring a copy of their last statement or account number.

This offer excludes customers if they have used three or more of the “Share the Warmth” pledges in the past 12 months.

Other than that, there are no income requirements, and the assistance is given on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no appointment necessary.

Waxahachie CARE Executive Director Linda Naizer said, “There are no questions asked.”

“We are most grateful to help our local residents. We have so many people who have fixed incomes, are on social security or disability. When they receive this help, they are most appreciative too,” Naizer added.

The last time Atmos Energy helped out Ellis County residents was about a year and a half ago, paying over 150 gas bills. Naizer said Atmos Energy recently held an event like this in Waco where 500 people showed up hoping to get back up on their feet.

“We love working with Atmos Energy because they are such a generous group and Waxahachie CARE is so fortunate to be able to help,” Naizer said.

Last year, Atmos Energy assisted more than 12,000 customers with their natural gas bill. For this to be possible, the company has a program called “Share the Warmth” which provides funds to local assistance agencies like Waxahachie CARE.

One contributing factor to “Sharing the Warmth” is when customers manipulate their bill to be rounded up to the nearest dollar; the difference in change goes toward this cause.

“If your total bill is $22.80 then 20 cents would go toward our ‘Sharing the Warmth program,’ and those pennies can really make a difference,” Manager of Customer Advocacy Dan Alderson said. “If all three million of our customers rounded up their bill, then we could assist more than 90,000 customers in need.”