Family gets help with high utility bills

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - One random Act of Kindness has sparked another noble gesture that's making a difference for 11 people.

Soon after the Sharpe family was featured on NBC12's "Act of Kindness" a local business was inspired to help them even more -- and made it its mission to 'reduce' the family's high utility bills.

Michael and Son Heating and AC dispatched a 3 man crew to the brick rancher to trouble shoot and problem solve.

"We acid washed the outdoor coil. You get a lot of environmental buildup over the years," said Michael Flanagan when talking about the AC unit. "It's one of the biggest things we see for high electric bills in the summer time."

It's home to Kenney and Gayle Sharpe, 7 children, an uncle and grandmother. Kenney says his family's last electric bill was $900. Utilities are far more than he can handle.

"The water bill was $105. And the sewage bill was $218," said Kenny Sharpe. "We're on disability and every little bit helps. You got to watch every penny you spend."

The AC unit got a thorough cleaning and tune up; general maintenance to correct airflow issues. They also found plumbing problems that likely added unnecessary expenses.

"When you flush [the toilet] the water is pouring out of the fill valve, basically not letting you flush it because it's not emptying enough," said Joe Mummert, Richmond Manager.

An easy fix that was quite costly. The Sharpes were wasting 100 gallons of water a day.

"With water running constantly like that, it's just a needless use of water which is causing the water bill to go sky high," said Mummert.

A third technician checked out the electric system and also found trouble areas.

"Put a new outlet in there. It's got fresh prongs and it should get rid of that problem for them," said electrician Ricky Carroll. "They were plugging stuff in and it was showing nothing was working."

All small Acts of Kindness done with great love, the Sharpes will never forget.

"They've done a lot," said Kenny. "I was very amazed. It was very nice of them to help out a family like that."

We want to thank 'Michael and Son, Heating and A.C.' They didn't reveal the cost of the inspections and repairs, but we know they are appreciated.

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