July’s Small and Simple Stewardship Step: Energy Security

July 26, 2021

“For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have… And now, I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.”

Mosiah 4:19, 26


Too often, people who experience one form of insecurity, such as access to affordable housing, suffer multiple challenging realities at once. “Different types of unfairness can merge, creating a tsunami of overwhelming unfairness” (Renlund 2021). Every summer, heat waves hit harder on people without sufficient air conditioning––or no housing at all. These heat waves are becoming hotter, more erratic, and more widespread as the global climate changes.

Specifically, “energy insecurity” is a growing form of poverty in which a person struggles to pay utility bills. Due to the fundamental role energy plays in our everyday lives, chances are that customers who struggle to pay utility bills will have already cut or reduced other fundamental budget items, such as groceries and medical needs. Researchers at Indiana University indicated that last year during Covid, twenty percent of respondents to a nationally representative survey of people in poverty (link) “had to reduce or forgo expenses for basic household needs, such as medicine or food, to pay an energy bill.”

Our invitation for June is to “impart of your substance to the poor” and to find other ways to support those who are struggling. Below are a few suggestions, however we encourage you to pray and consider additional stewardship efforts you can make this month:

  • Set up a recurring donation to community centers such as libraries, recreation centers, or shelters for homelessness, which provide invaluable resources (like air conditioning) for vulnerable community members.
  • Invite neighbors or community members to share a meal with you; drop off non-perishables at a community location––do not underestimate the power of food.
  • Call your utility provider and learn about protections they have in place for struggling customers; advocate for protections, including contacting your elected representatives if your utility provider does not have sufficient protections in place.
  • Learn more about weatherization assistance here and consider making efficiency upgrades to your own home (such as a heat pump which can both heat and cool your house: save money and reduce emissions!). Learn more about investing in community-funded weatherization programs, like with BlocPower.

We hope these invitations help you mourn with those who mourn and love as the Savior loves. As you find your own way to be a better steward, share your inspired actions on social media—don’t forget to tag us and use both #EverySaintASteward and #SmallAndSimpleStewardship!