A congregation in Louisiana has helped to raise $125,000 to help people pay their electricity bills, which have recently been on the rise for multiple reasons.
Household of Faith Family Worship Church International, a nondenominational congregation located near New Orleans, oversaw the charitable outreach to help people pay bills owed to the energy company Entergy.
First Lady Dale Barriere, wife of Senior Pastor Antoine M. Barriere, told The Christian Post on Monday that they decided to do the charitable event “because God said so.”
“Our prayer was how can we help those who are hurting and He said $100 towards Entergy bill,” explained Barriere. “Our hope is to encourage the community to never give up and when you think there’s no help, out of the blue help steps in.”
According to Barriere, the church initially raised $50,000 while Entergy itself matched their amount. Businesses and church members added an extra $25,000 to the bill aid.
The New Orleans branch of Entergy provides electricity for over 250,000 customers, as well as natural gas for around 108,000 others, based on 2019 figures on their website.
The company has garnered recent controversy over allegedly hiking up bills for their customers, with many taking to social media to complain about costs that seemed to double in recent times.
Entergy New Orleans CEO David Ellis told Jessica Williams of Nola.com last week that the higher bills were due to colder weather and people staying home more because of pandemic shutdowns.
"We had colder weather, so people were using heat more. We had an end of holiday period where people were not traveling normally," explained Ellis. "What those point to is higher consumption."
For their part, The New Orleans City Council, which oversees the regulation of Entergy New Orleans, will hold a special meeting this week regarding the rising costs of bills.
“By no later than next meeting, I will have a documented item and an investigation, or a directive message, or whatever we deem necessary to get to the bottom of why these bills are going up,” explained Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere III, as reported by Nola.com.