Power bills to rise, seniors get help - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Power bills to rise, seniors get help

By Cade Fowler - bio | email

 January 29, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany Water Gas and Light Commission approved a 5% increase in their Purchase Power Adjustment. The rate increase will go into effect beginning February first.

Officials say while this comes during tough financial times, it was a necessary move for the light department which is $2.6 million under budget.

"The best way to put it inot dollars and cents, if you're bill is $100.00 your bill will go up $5.00. If your bill is $200.00 your bill will go up $10.00. The beauty of a Purchase Power Adjustment versus is a rate increase is that our cost go down, then we take that power adjustment factor out," said WG&L Assistant General Manager Lorie Farkas.

The last monthly increase was issued in July, and it was also five percent. Officials say even with the increase, WG&L's monthly rates are still 15% below that of its competitors.

Senior citizens who are customers of Albany Water Gas and Light could get some help if they are late on their monthly bills.

WG&L offers a penalty fee waiver to customers age 65 or older. Officials say this is a courtesy to their senior customers who may not be aware of this service.

"For the past six years, we have not charged our 65 years old and older (customers) that $25 penatly fee when they let us know. Obviosuly they have to let us know they are over 65 by showing a drivers license or some form of identification," said Farkas.

A $25 penalty fee is assessed if a bill isn't paid on or before the 20th of each month. WG&L also reminds its customers it will not disconnect services if temperatures drop to 32º or below.

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