WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many Kansans say they are feeling the pressure on their wallets as energy bills rise, just another sign of inflation.
“It’s kind of a grumble that you kind of hear everywhere,” said Wichitan, KD Davis.
“I think it’s horrible. Energy is something that everybody has to use,” said Deirdre Arronwhine.
“Everybody is hurting, and then to get a bill that has, you know, like a 40% increase in your energy. There have been a lot of comments that I’ve read about how can this be happening just so fast,” said Candis Robertson.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in August, electricity bills jumped up 15.8% from the same time last year.
United Way of the Plains 2-1-1 hotline has been flooded with calls for help.
“We have seen a 76% increase from the first 3 months of the year to the next three months of the year,” said Heather Pierce, United Way of the Plains 211 Coordinator.
After someone calls, The United Way connects them to other resources.
“Unfortunately, hearing a lot of times these non-profits are out of funds or there’s long wait times because the need is so great right now,” Pierce said.
Center of Hope in Wichita can attest to that.
“I’d say this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Center of Hope Director George Dinkel. “Elderly people and young families too where their utilities are turned off and they are coming down almost in desperation to try to get them turned back on.”
The Center of Hope is running low on funds as well, as it tries to help even more in need.
“There’s such a demand, and we’re helping people with larger amounts than we have in the past because they are coming in owing thousand, 2,000 in their utility bills,” Dinkel said.
United Way is encouraging people to reach out sooner rather than later because many non-profits have an application process or wait times for help.