Free fans from Beat the Heat in McKinney Texas.

Free fans may be passed out during the summer months to qualified residents of McKinney Texas. The assistance is offered as part of a program known as Beat the Heat. Most of the assistance offered is for low income families with children, seniors, and people with a medical condition.

The Beat the Heat program is offered in partnership with various agencies. From examples, businesses and companies like the McKinney Fire Department, the Community Lifeline Center ((972) 542-0020), and the McKinney Lions Club all participate. All contribute money and funds to the program. In addition, TXU Energy provides various grants to Beat the Heat.

In some years hundreds of local families may benefit from the program. The free fans can really help people during those hot, dog days of summer when temperatures in Texas can reach triple digits. Many of the people who benefit have more than two people living in the residence, so the impact to McKinney will be even greater. Even some residents who currently have air conditioning may be able to get a fan as they then could cut back on use of the air conditioning unit. So people who are enrolled will increase their thermostat, to say 80 degrees, as they can't afford to pay the electric bill. They then use the efficient fan to help cool the home, and this is a cheaper approach then during down the AC unit.

All of this is offered in an effort to provide cooling relief to at risk households. It may be able to help people and prevent them from needing to suffer through the record temperatures in Texas without air conditioning. The main objective of the program is to prevent heat-related emergencies, ensure people stay safe, and maybe even subsequently save lives. The various companies, including TXU Energy, don't want anyone to suffer in the heat.

The location of the free fan program will vary. In the past it has been held at Wysong Central Fire Station, 301 N. McDonald St. in McKinney. A number of conditions need to be met. For example, proof of residence is required from the applicant. In addition, all TXU Energy customers are required to bring a copy of their electric bill when they stop by to apply.





The goal is to assist struggling and so called at risk residents in managing short-term crises using a variety of resources and approaches. This is really possible as Community Lifeline Center received a generous cash grant from TXU Energy. This money will allowing them to purchase fans for distribution to citizens whose lives may be endangered by this drastic heat, such as senior citizens and households with young children. The McKinney Texas Noon Lions Club also plays a huge part in the success of this program.

If you are found to be qualified and can receive a free fan, then recipients will also receive hot weather safety/survival tips as part of Beat the Heat. For example, households can receive information on keeping energy bills as low as possible, fire and life safety educational materials, and maybe even a free smoke alarm. In addition, residents can schedule a safety visit to their home to check for other issues.

Other benefits are offered too. For example, TXU Energy customers who meet qualifications of Beat the Heat will also be able to inquire about receiving free window air conditioning units, weatherization kits, and  ceiling fans for their homes. TXU also offers several other financial assistance and discount programs for qualified low income customers. They don't want to see customers have their power turned off, especially during the summer.

By Jon McNamara

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