Residents are having trouble with utility bills - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Residents are having trouble with utility bills

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Sales tax holiday halts some state roadwork

    Sales tax holiday halts some state roadwork

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:36 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:36:56 GMT
    The Georgia Department of Transportation will suspend construction-related lane closures within five miles of a shopping mall or major shopping district on all interstates and major state routes beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1 through 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2.More >>
    The Georgia Department of Transportation will suspend construction-related lane closures within five miles of a shopping mall or major shopping district on all interstates and major state routes beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1 through 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2.More >>
  • Second Harvest providing school supplies to South Georgia teachers

    Second Harvest providing school supplies to South Georgia teachers

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:29:16 GMT
    The food bank is holding it's "Teachers Harvest" kick off event until 4 p.m. Thursday, which provides school supplies like pencils and notebook paper to teachers for free.More >>
    The food bank is holding it's "Teachers Harvest" kick off event until 4 p.m. Thursday, which provides school supplies like pencils and notebook paper to teachers for free.More >>
  • Taser training provided to officers

    Taser training provided to officers

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:27 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:27:01 GMT

    The officers and deputies were taught how to safely train their departments officers in the safe and effective use of Tasers. Once they have completed and passed the two day course, these officers will return and teach their fellow officers.

    More >>

    The officers and deputies were taught how to safely train their departments officers in the safe and effective use of Tasers. Once they have completed and passed the two day course, these officers will return and teach their fellow officers.

    More >>

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

October 30, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - More proof of tough times. Albany Water, Gas, and Light is cutting off service to 10% more of its customers because they can't pay their bills.

On top of that, the number of bad checks from WG&L customers has nearly doubled in just three months.

With this week's early cold blast, WG&L worries this could be the beginning of a much larger problem.

It's the same situation all over the country. People are having difficulty paying utility bills and ending up in the dark.

"Because of people's inability to pay," said Mary Ann Petty of Water, Gas, & Light.  "Some people are losing their jobs. The ones that are not losing their jobs, time is being cut down on those jobs so they don't have the money they would normally have to pay those bills."

Last year through September, 66,547 weren't able to pay their bills on time. This year, that number has jumped all the way to 74,566.

A difference of more than 8,000.

"We had a significant increase in non-pays from last year to this year," said Petty.

Not only non-pays, but also the amount of people paying with bad checks.

In June of this year, only 324 checks bounced. But in September, they nearly doubled at 615.

"Not only do they have to pay a $25 fee when the check returns here. If we turn them off for non payment of that check, there's another $25 and, of course, I know the bank charges them another service charge also," said Petty.

November is normally a buffer month for the utility, allowing a period without high cooling or heating costs, but that may not be the case this year.

"This winter is going to be a bad winter for our Water, Gas and Light Customers."

Especially since cold weather made an early arrival. WG&L does allow payment extensions in certain circumstances, but you must sign up before your due date.

For more information about payment plans and ways you can make sure your power stays on, call water, gas and light at 883-8330.

Feedback