The High Cost of Energy and Water

Social Issues

  • Author Lindsey Edward
  • Published May 18, 2020
  • Word count 614

Waking up early to start the day, I gently breastfeed my infant and enjoy the peaceful morning light. In those beautiful moments I don't allow debt or financial burdens to cause me distress. Instead I thought it sensible to write an article that may or may not make a difference in society. If I cannot change these things at least I can raise awareness. We are a low-income family of three. There are bills from four cities ago we will never be able to pay.

In 2017 my husband and I were married. We both were working as many hours as we could. We had a car payment, rent, electricity and water/sewer bills. In winter our power was shut off. In Missouri it gets fairly cold during winter. At that time we did not have our child so at least it was just us two. We bought tall candles from the Dollar Tree and left them burning through the night to keep us warm. We qualified for LIHEAP but because the power had already been shut off they could not help. I still remember seeing my breath and the condensation on the windows. Shortly after that our water was turned off. Although we were working we desperately needed to pay for and keep our car. Being in a binding contract with a "buy-here-pay here," would leave us with garnished wages if we failed to pay off the loan. Even with EBT support for groceries we could only afford that car. We used supermarket jugs of water to wash or dishes and to bathe. Lastly, we couldn't pay rent. This went on for about three months before we were evicted. I had even switched jobs in hopes I would I would bring in more money. I had applied for many positions and could not find a second job. Then we were evicted. Thankfully, we have not been in a situation like that since. Yet even now, having moved to another state entirely, in comes the mail with a bill every month. Currently my husband is out of work as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic. After weeks of waiting he got an unemployment payment. That has been a major relief. But I can't help but think there are many Americans who have experienced similar situations. It's very difficult to find happiness in poverty. Poverty takes so much out of you. It came to me this morning to tell my story. Maybe, just maybe someone somewhere can make a difference for the American people facing such financial hardship. I believe that the rate at which companies determine how much a residence owes in power and water/sewer usage should significantly be forced to lower or be based on income. Things have greatly changed in society. For some reason prices of everything keep rising! Sadly, that can only mean one thing for the poor, oppression. When the bills come in I can't help but think about how others are faring once they've paid. I'm sure, like us, they have little to nothing left. I know for a fact many, too many, don't have any savings to fall back on in an emergency like we're experiencing now. I'm grateful that in the terrible conditions of a natural disaster families can receive funds to aid their struggle. Because in modern society we absolutely need power, water and sewer, the cost of living should be lowered! Why should it continue that the rich become richer and poor, poorer? Why has it been allowed to exist this way? There is little opportunity because of the outrageous cost of living! Power companies have had their day. The people have had enough.

I am a mother and a wife. My life revolves around maintaining good emotional health, teaching, volunteering and family. I am satisfied and I never thought I'd say that. Satisfied by becoming a wife and mother. As a female that's all I truly wanted. Love.

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