Utilities

Do You Have a Voice at the Table When Utility Companies Try to Raise Your Rates?

Posted on 07/7/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsAffordable and reliable utilities are essential for all of us. We rely on utilities to keep us warm in winter — and cool during summer heat waves — to cook our meals and keep the lights on in the dark. During severe weather and emergencies, our utilities become more important than ever — our lifelines to health and safety. Today, many Americans struggle with high utility bills. For seniors and others on fixed incomes especially, rate hikes and other cost …

Don’t Hang Up on Landlines Just Yet

Posted on 05/27/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsAs a family caregiver to Mom and Pop for many years, I know reliable technology can mean the difference between life and tragedy. Yet, in states across the country, phone companies that provide landline service are trying to force residents to switch to a new wireless phone option — one that does not work with many medical monitoring devices, like pacemakers and defibrillators, home security systems, and sometimes even 911. In New Jersey, for example, the phone company doesn’t want …

Spotlight: New Jerseyans Fight Back — and Win Against Higher Utility Bills

Posted on 05/5/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsThis is a true story of how New Jerseyans fought back against the largest proposed utility rate increase by the state’s biggest gas and electric company in its century-long history — and won. Just last week, consumer advocates — including AARP — reached a settlement on “Energy Strong,” a PSE&G proposal to harden its electric and gas systems following the tragedy of Superstorm Sandy. The settlement saves New Jersey utility customers $1.6 billion.  A culmination of a more than a …

$900 Million and Counting

Posted on 04/28/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsHave you ever been hit with sticker shock when you open your utility bill? This winter, many Americans faced skyrocketing energy costs, with bills doubling and tripling in just a month. Meanwhile, some seniors on fixed incomes still have to make tough choices between paying their utility bill or buying other necessities like food and medication. That’s why AARP is fighting, in states across the country, for fair and reasonable utility rates. We’re off to a strong start in 2014, …

Fear Is Back! Jury Duty, Other Intimidation Scams Return

Posted on 04/11/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAs the forecast faithful can verify, March certainly came in like a lion. But out like a lamb? Scammers continue to be anything but sheepish in trying to steal your money and identity. Witness the recent return of the jury duty scam. That’s when fraudsters, posing as courthouse officials or police, telephone with claims you missed jury duty. Because of that, they threaten, you’re going to be arrested unless a fine is immediately paid — sometimes requested by credit card, but usually a …

Spending on Cell Phone Service Increasing for Older Consumers

Posted on 04/9/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteCell phones have become ubiquitous—90 percent of adult Americans now own one—and that has impacted overall spending patterns for telephone service. Analysis of the latest federal Consumer Expenditure Survey finds that spending on cell phone service by consumers aged 50+ is continuing to increase while spending on traditional residential landline service is decreasing. Spending by consumers aged 50+ on telephone service grew in 2012, even as overall spending for utilities fell. A PPI analysis of expenditures on utilities by consumers …