Tyler (KYTX) -- You may need to brace yourself to pay more for heat this winter. This comes at a time when many homeowners are already stretched too thin.
The U.S. Department of Energy released projections this week not everyone is thrilled about. Prices for natural gas, electricity, and propane are expected to go up, meaning it's likely your bill will too.
"It has been a struggle already for me being a widower and one person. I'm just trying to survive," Vena Maeperry, 78 years old, said.
Maeperry is used to the expense that arrives without fail every month, but that doesn't mean it gets any easier to pay.
"I feel like at this age, my blood is a little thinner than it used to be and I get a little colder. I have to have a fire when it's real cold," Maeperry said.
In the heart of winter, Maeperry uses about 250 gallons of propane a month. To cut corners, she uses a wood burning heater and fears she'll have to conserve even more.
"I'm going to have to use it a little bit more and pull out more blankets and get more blankets to wrap up in and stay warm," Maeperry said.
One resource that gives out blankets to people like Maeperry is PATH--or People Attempting to Help. PATH also provides assistance with bills.
"For those folks it makes a difference between being able to heat and cool your home and being able to buy food," Greg Grubb, Executive Director of Path, said.
TXU matches every dollar donated to an Energy Aid Program with $5. Through PATH it serves 50 families.
Maeperry doesn't get any financial help at the moment, but knows she won't be alone in feeling the chill when that bill comes this winter.
"It's hard. It's not only hard on me, it's hard on everybody," Maeperry.