More than two months before it’s supposed to end, a program that helps disadvantaged Northeast Missouri residents is out of money.

NECAC allocated the last of more than 380 thousand dollars in funding on Tuesday (July 17).

The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) began June 1st and wasn’t scheduled to end until September 30th.

Last year, the money didn’t run out until late August, but NECAC says the weather got hotter faster this year. The agency isn’t sure if additional funding will be available.

ECIP pays overdue electricity bills of up to 300 dollars for income-qualifying households. Participants had to have received a utility shut-off notice for electric service. NECAC was awarded about 15 thousand fewer dollars this year compared with 2017.

The silver lining is that the number of families seeking assistance dropped to about 16 hundred this summer, compared with a little over two thousand last year. The program helped 14 hundred families in 2016. NECAC covers 12 Missouri counties. Similar programs are available in other parts of the state, as well as Illinois and Iowa.