(Bloomberg) -- As more Americans grapple with budget-busting utility bills, one Texas city is encouraging donations to help struggling households keep the lights on this winter.

Austin’s utilities department is urging individuals, businesses and organizations to make a payment toward the utility bill of a needy customer on Nov. 29 through its Gift of Comfort program as part of the Giving Tuesday charity push. The utility is also accepting donations to its customer assistance program, which has provided almost $400,000 in assistance to more than 1,200 customers since the start of October.

The push from the state’s fourth-largest city underscores just how unaffordable utility bills are becoming for a growing number of Americans who are already struggling with soaring inflation. Household energy costs have been surging across the US as higher natural gas prices have driven up electricity rates for consumers.

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