Legislators have been getting a lot of calls regarding sharp increases in electricity bills this winter. The significant increases have been hitting residents hard during a prolonged and cold winter. Seniors especially have felt the brunt of the price increase.
One resident told us their bill for December was 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour. By January, that price had increased to 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour. And in February, that price increased to 19.8 cents per kilowatt hour.
That is a sizable hike. Another senior said his electricity bill for a residence heated with electrical heat had climbed over four figures in one month.
Residents are already being hit hard with the effects of a tough economy, rising prices for health insurance, groceries and other areas. The huge jump in electricity costs is particularly tough to take because of the long winter, and the suddenness of the increase. For those living on a fixed income, or working families, the price hike is a budget-breaker.
The Legislature has asked the state Public Service Commission to review the rate hikes. The PSC has oversight responsibility in this area and we believe residents deserve an answer as to why a sharp and sudden price increase for a basic necessity is allowable during one of the most bitter winters in memory.