Dear [Big Monopoly Power Company],

     I am writing for several reasons.  The first, and most concerning is the continued increase in cost I see each month to light, heat, and provide other basic needs for my home.  While we are by no means a "green" family, we're also not a wasteful family.  We own a home that is just about 1500 square feet, single story, and very well insulated with the exception of two windows.  We don't leave lights on, our heat is barely classifiable as heat, as our thermostat is set to engage at 65 degrees, and our showers and laundry are not overwhelming.  How then, do you explain this exponential price hike we see each month when we open your lovely little envelope? Oh, that's right!  You increased the rates, and made us aware of this increase right next to the box where you offered a breakdown of seasonal rates to make shopping around easier.  Well, I'm all for being a good consumer, but you're the only power company in the area.  Believe me, I checked.  So while I appreciate the gesture, I'd appreciate it even more if you didn't wield your monopolic status like the sword of Damacles and lower you rates to what they used to be, which was, very reasonable.

     I am also writing to say how much I appreciate your willingness to help those in need, especially during the colder winter months.  My family applied for the Energy Share Program after occassionally sending a few extra bucks to contribute to it, and wonder of wonders, we were denied.  Apparently our income is more than sufficient until we have 5 more children.  I don't know about you, but if I had 8 kids, I'd just make them all run around the house a few times until the whole place felt like a sauna, and then we'd have no need for your Energy Share program, would we? 

     I find your income restriction laughable, honestly.  They are not only below what the state considers to be Poverty Level, but also well below the requirements of most other state or federal aid programs I have ever bothered to investigate. 

     After receiving a bill the month before last that was twice what I had budgeted, I cracked down on my family.  There is not a single light turned on this house before 5:30 PM.  As much as I hate it, we open the blinds if I absolutely feel the need to see something.  Our thermostat setting went from 67 to 65 degrees.  We put curtains or blinds over a few more windows.  We started unplugging things, rather than leaving our cell chargers hanging on the wall, etc.  And yet, despite our efforts, and layers of clothing, our bill rose by double digits, yet again.  I would love to end this letter with the promise of a service discontinuation, but as you have already read, there is nowhere for us to go.  So, I write this in the hopes that you lose a few hours' sleep, if nothing else, and that some day in the not-so-distant future, you will indeed be forced to compete.


     – Mental Mommy

*Day 36: I am grateful for owning clothing I can layer.  Without sweatshirts and thick socks, we'd all be really fucking cold right now.