When Utility Companies Want to Raise Your Rates …

Meet Shirlee C. of South Minneapolis. As a senior on a fixed income, she takes a financial hit every time her utility rate increases. She can’t afford for her bill to keep going up, but her utility company, Xcel Energy, is asking for another $123 a year by 2016. If approved, this would be the seventh rate increase for Minnesotans in just 10 years! Shirlee, and all Americans, should have to pay only what is reasonable for reliable service — and …

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

This 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

Have 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, …

4 Myths About Daylight Saving Time

Let’s hope you’ve recovered from Groggy Monday, the day after we turn our clocks ahead an hour (and lose an hour of sleep) for that  convoluted practice called daylight saving time. Even though studies show that this fiddling with our sleep schedule is a bad idea – a higher risk of car accidents from sleepy drivers during the Monday morning commute, workplace injuries because of tired workers, a spike in heart attack risk – we’re still somehow wedded to “springing …

Smart Solutions to Cold-Weather Home Energy Problems

Guest post by Claire Easley: With dropping temperatures and winter storms popping up across the country, homeowners may begin to notice energy troubles at home – high utility bills, drafty rooms, inconsistent temperatures inside the house and icicles hanging from the roof. For many homeowners, these problems appear to be the predictable consequences of cold temperatures. But in many cases, the problems are the result of a home’s energy systems. Fortunately, solutions are available, even for older homes. INDOOR PROBLEMS …

Not Enough Households Staying Warm With LIHEAP

Low-income households often face challenges in keeping pace with rising energy costs. A recent study shows that despite federal assistance amounting to $3.4 billion, in the winter of 2011-12 low-income households were left struggling to pay $35.1 billion in energy costs. The federal government helps eligible low-income households maintain adequate energy mainly through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP serves to protect eligible families by helping keep their homes warm during winter and cool during summer. Although …