Energy to Persevere

Sandra Dolan, age 57, works hard to support her family. Her husband suffers from frequent
seizures which prevent him from working. The household has grown. Sandra’s mother-inlaw, who lives with them, is in the early stages of dementia. Following two heart attacks,
Sandra’s eldest son’s compromised health prompted him to relocate to his parents’ home.
A short time later, Sandra’s youngest son also joined the household with his two-year-old son
in tow. Suddenly, the household grew to six, and monthly expenses climbed.
“I work hard every day trying to pay everything,” Sandra said.
Sandra had to re-prioritize her bills. With electricity shut offs suspended during COVID, the
power bill became a less urgent need. While Sandra worked and put her money toward the
mortgage, food and other household expenses, the power bill grew exponentially. The old
home’s inefficient systems—now supporting 6 residents—resulted in unusually high energy
usage. Before she knew it, Sandra’s power bill had grown to over $6,000.
That’s when Sandra applied for NeighborImpact’s Energy Assistance. Our program paid
the entirety of Sandra’s electricity bill and left a stabilizing credit on her account to help
cover future bills.
“It was fantastic,” Sandra said. “NeighborImpact saved me.”
Sandra was not the only one to experience exorbitantly high energy bills this year.
NeighborImpact’s Energy Assistance program provided relief to a record number of families
just like Sandra’s, with insurmountable balances as high as $10,000.
Sandra is now in the process of applying for NeighborImpact’s Weatherization program, which
works to lower the cost of home energy bills permanently by adding insulation, sealing ducts,
repairing or replacing heating systems and old appliances.