AARP Challenges Utilities’ Rates

AARP Challenges Utilities’ Rates

On the eve of the first of several public hearings on controversial rate changes sought by Wisconsin utilities, an advocacy group for senior citizens is criticizing power companies’ plans to raise fixed charges on monthly bills. “To have the higher charge just tied to the electricity, without even turning on a light, is distressing,” Helen Marks Dicks, state issues advocacy director with AARP Wisconsin, said Tuesday.

AARP hasn’t been a regular participant in utility rate cases decided by the state Public Service Commission but decided to get involved this year when three utilities proposed to increase fixed charges by 75% to 140% in 2015. “When older people are budgeting they have very little wriggle room,” Dicks she said. “People who are on fixed incomes can do something about their usage, wear an extra sweater and do other things to conserve, but there’s nothing you can do about the fixed charges, and these are going up pretty significantly.”

Read the full story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 9, 2014