Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Left out in the cold?

Utilities cut off more customers who are behind on their bills
By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY

As skyrocketing food and gasoline prices strain budgets, utilities are disconnecting many more customers who fall behind on their bills, and even moderate-income households are getting zapped.

Electricity and natural gas shutoffs are up at least 15% in several states compared with last year. Totals for some utilities have more than doubled.

...An NEADA survey this month shows 8% of four-member households earning $33,500 to $55,500 have had their power turned off for non-payment. "It's hitting people in the suburbs with two cars and two kids," Wolfe says.

The disconnects are rising as warm-weather power bills increase, some state moratoriums on winter shutoffs expire, and rates are climbing in many states..

What's your plan for dealing with rising energy bills, class? For cutting consumption (clotheslines, etc)? For getting some power off the grid (home solar or home wind turbines)?

If you don't have one, read on.

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