Can You Afford The Summer Heat?

Summer is here, and for most parts of the country, it’s predicted to be a hot one. Once again, we’ll hover in air-conditioned homes, offices, coffee shops, and shopping malls. And all of that comes with a cost – a big cost – in the form of higher monthly electricity bills that anyone on a fixed income will find hard to swallow. The amount that customers spend on electricity for their homes is based primarily on how much power they …

Rising Utility Rates Put Seniors at Risk

As we enter the heart of summer, the temperature isn’t the only thing on the rise — utility bills are increasing, too. For seniors especially, keeping cool in these hot summer months isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity for health and safety — one that can be hard to afford for some. As my colleague Joan McCarty of AARP New York simplifies it, “every extra dollar that goes to a utility bill is a dollar less for food and …

Utility Service Should Not Be a Candle in the Wind

An old proverb says “it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” With apologies to the author, it is just better to keep the lights on. Utility service is essential to preserving the health and well-being of families and individuals. Certainly the ability to adequately heat and/or cool their homes is essential to the health and well-being of most households. Most states require government-regulated utilities to observe dates and seasons during which disconnections are not …

The Heat Is on Summer Electric Bills

The 2014 summer cooling season is turning into an expensive and potentially unsafe one for older consumers who live on a fixed income. Though many welcome the heat after a harsh winter, the frigid temperatures of this past winter are causing higher electric bills this summer. Consumers hoping to escape the high utility bills they faced during winter will find little relief. A colder-than-normal winter triggered record demand for natural gas to meet home heating needs. As a result, natural gas reserves …

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 …

Impact of the Polar Vortex on Consumers Will Linger

Many consumers are happy to say goodbye to the polar vortex that caused frigid temperatures and high home heating bills this past winter. While the memory of bitter cold winter days will fade as warmer weather finally begins to take hold, the ghost of the polar vortex may return in the form of higher home energy prices for the remainder of the year. The onslaught of colder-than-normal temperatures resulted in higher-than-average natural gas demand for home heating. This high demand has …