Most of us take electricity, gas, heat, and water for granted…unless we can’t afford them and face disconnection. During the pandemic, most utility firms suspended disconnection for non-payment. However, this did not relieve people of their responsibility to pay their bills, and the amount owed continued to grow. Utility companies are sending out disconnect notices again, and the cost of utilities has increased due to inflation.
Seventeen cents of every dollar we receive is used to pay an overdue utility bill. Typical is Serena, a mother living with five children. She has health challenges that limit her ability to work. She was unable to pay her electric bill, which we paid. Lucinda was dealing with an overdue electric bill of over $1,900. Her service had been disconnected. We brought the account current by working with Fairfax County’s Coordinated Services Planning (CSP). Another typical case is Barbara, who had received a disconnect notice and could not get assistance from CSP. Through our benefactors’ generosity, we were able to pay the electric bill and ensure that she and her son had power for Thanksgiving.