Community Organizations help MLGW customers with utility bills amid energy price surge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With the temperatures and energy prices soaring, it is going to cost a lot more to keep your A/C running.

MLGW said your utility bill could increase by as much as 40 percent this summer.

Many people simply cannot afford a higher utility bill because of how expensive everything else is.

That’s why many community organizations are stepping up to help people who may be struggling.

“We see a lot of people who are already regularly struggling with daily, your basic life needs. So, when you have an increased utility bill, it just kind of exacerbates all these other issues,” Anna Wilcox with the Neighborhood Christian Center said.

The Neighborhood Christian Center and the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, or MIFA, are two community organizations that work to connect families with assistance programs.

Mary Hamlett with MIFA said they’ve seen an increase in the number of people applying for their utility assistance program.

“With the cost of rent going up in places $500 and with a substantial increase in utilities expenses, that blows people out of the water,” she said.

To apply, Hamlet said you must be a resident of Shelby County and be able to document that a crisis within the past 90 days has affected your ability to pay your bills.

“Given the increase in gas for cars and no increase in income and now an increase in utility bills, that constitutes as a crisis,” said Hamlet.

If you need utility assistance, there are several programs in Shelby county that can help:

A few include MLGW’s Share the Pennies program, MIFA’s emergency assistance program, the Shelby County Community Services Agency, and the Neighborhood Christian Center’s utility assistance program.