Customers sound off to WG&L - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Customers sound off to WG&L

May 23, 2005

Albany- The temperature's hot and we're spending a lot more time outdoors.

We're also spending more to keep cool when we're indoors.

"My electric bill may run about $134," said WG&L customer Donald Bouie.

Water Gas & Light Commission and Georgia Power are both raising rates. Monday night, WG&L officials got some feedback from the people who are paying the bills.

"We have questions about how it's used and where's it going," Bouie said.

The rate increases are only for the four summer months.

"But for the other 8 months, the rates do go down to offset the increase in the summer time," said John Vansant, director of fiscal affairs for WG&L.

So what you spend this year should be about the same as in previous years. For people who just can't pay their bills, there is help available. WG&L's Hope program will help with the utility bills of people who qualify, but that help is available only once. Also, a DFACS employee who works through WG&L can offer assistance to someone once every 18 months.

No matter who your utility company is, agencies such as Albany Outreach, the Salvation Army and the Neighborhood Service Center offer help if you're struggling to pay your bills.

The people who can pay every month still want to know if there are programs that can help conserve, like sending a signal to your thermometer to cut it off when it gets close to peak times.

That's an idea officials can survey customers on to find out who's interested.

"Maybe when they present that to residents, they might be in agreement," Bouie said.

Until then, the reality is people will be paying more.

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