Capital Region residents angry after electric bills increase

(NEWS10 ABC)
(NEWS10 ABC)
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Updated: 3/26 10:12 pm

SCHODACK, N.Y. -  Energy bills have increased this winter season angering some local residents, and energy providers are not offering satisfying answers.

Ashley Fisher of Schodak, like many others in the area, is having a hard time paying her electric bill. Her provider is National Grid. On Wednesday, the company said that the increase issue is not with National Grid because the company does not set the price and only delivers the service.

National Grid also said that customers have seen an increase because of the cold snap this winter, but Fisher says her bill is only for electric and not heat. Now she says she has to make some difficult decisions.

"Why is it all of a sudden going up and how is it ever going to change? If it keeps going up like this, if I still have these bills, I don't know what I'm going to do," she said. "I'm going to have to choose between food or electric. I'm going to have to live in the dark ages because I can't keep going on like this."

David Elliott of East Greenbush said he and his wife are fed up with the large increase in their energy bill. He hasn't been able to pay it for the last two months and now owes National Grid more than $800.

"She's thought about taking a second job just to kind of cover some of the bills, and we've pretty much gone on electrical lock down," he said.

These concerns were taken to Congressman Chris Gibson who said he's been fielding calls from constituents with the same problem.

"The [Public Service Commission] obviously is involved with electricity costs and rates. Our office has been in contact with them. I'm looking for more details," he said.

On Wednesday, a statement on the issue was released by the PSC:

"In recent months, demand for electricity and natural gas, which is used to generate electricity and provide heat, has been unprecedented due to the extremely cold weather that has gripped large parts of the country."

National Grid, NYSEG and Central Hudson have also said this is reason for the increase, but Gibson is calling for a full investigation and believes consumers deserve more answers.

"You know we're in contact with the state to have the state look into this in greater degree," Gibson said.

The Public Service Commission said people should contact their provider about budget plans to spread their payments out.

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