Although people are still braving cold temperatures and continue to monitor their heating bills, help is already on the way for a certain group of  low-income consumers before they get hit with another set of bills in the summer.

The Delaware Energy Assistance Program will help absorb utility costs this summer, after it received more than $86 thousand to help a select few Delawareans pay their bills. The funds will be available through the Summer Cooling Assistance Program that lends a helping hand to elderly or disabled people who have trouble traveling to public places with air conditioning during extreme hot weather.

"Extreme weather can have a severe impact on our most vulnerable populations," said Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del. "As a community, we have an obligation to help those in need – whether it is providing them with heat in the winter or a way to stay cool in the summer. This money will certainly aid in those efforts and ensure 350 more households are safer during the hottest months of the year."

On Thursday, a check for $86,811.43 was presented by the Division of the Public Advocate to the Delaware Energy Assistance Program. That's because DPA determined how disgorged profits would be distributed not long after a 2012 settlement between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Constellation Energies Commodities Group, Inc.

This is welcome assistance for some of the most vulnerable people we serve," said Dr. Anne Farley, Director of the Division of State Service Centers for the Department of Health and Social Services. "Through our community partner, Catholic Charities, this aid will go toward keeping many Delaware seniors and people with disabilities more comfortable in their homes this summer."