There are two local programs that can help with utilities:
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program helps households that are vulnerable due to heating costs and pay a separate heating bill. You may apply January 1 through March 31. If you are age 60 or older or disabled and working with DHS Adult and Aging Services, you may apply in December. The amount of the benefit is based on the household size and income. Call 704-920-1400 for more information.
The Crisis Intervention Program provides help for households in certain circumstances, including: presence of a child five years of age or under, presence of an elderly person 60 or older, presence of a person who is ill and susceptible to a health-related emergency if heating/cooling needs are not met (documentation of the condition is required.) It is also required that the outside temperature is greater than 91 degrees for three consecutive days or below 45 degrees for two consecutive days.