Low income-families trying to balance the need to keep cool with higher electricity bills this summer may be eligible for assistance through Good Samaritan Ministries and TXU Energy.

Angelia Bostick, executive director of Good Samaritan, said nearly $10,000 worth of energy efficient products have been donated to the interfaith ministry by TXU Energy.

The donation was originally scheduled to provide 125 box fans, but a special price extended by Weakley-Watson allowed the program to acquire more than a dozen additional fans.

The assistance program will also offer a supply of materials including energy-efficient light bulbs, weather-stripping and outlet insulation foam to eligible households.

“An interview will be required, and those will be scheduled by appointment only,” Bostick said. “Those receiving assistance must be TXU Energy customers, must have the service in their names and meet income eligibility requirements.”

Appointments may be scheduled by calling 643-2273.

A determination of eligibility to participate in the program will be made after the interview process, Bostick said.

“The program will provide low-income customers with access to new technologies to help them reduce their energy use and save money,” said Jim Burke, chief executive officer of TXU Energy, said. “In these tight economic times, we know that saving on the electric bill provides funds for other important family needs.”

Bostick welcomed the donation.

“This initiative couldn’t come at a better time,” Bostick said. “Family budgets here in Brownwood are stretched so thin, this will help families save money and use electricity more efficiently.”

Working with local social service agencies across the state, TXU Energy will provide grants for turnkey energy efficient services as well as funds for agencies to purchase energy-efficient products to help reduce energy usage in low-income, single-family homes and apartment complexes, TXU Energy officials said. For the turnkey services, energy audits will be conducted to determine the exact upgrades needed for the home or apartment complex. Upgrades may include solar attic vents, radiant barriers and insulation. All participants will receive energy efficiency kits.

TXU Electric officials said the company is the only retail electric provider in Texas that provides its low-income customers with an approximate 10 percent discount year-round.

The TXU Energy Aid initiative was described as the largest electric bill payment assistance program among electricity companies in the nation. Since 1983, the program has provided $51 million to assist more than 340,000 families. TXU Energy has committed $5 million a year in TXU Energy Aid funds through 2012.