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Inflated Power Bills?
01/28/10 - 07:00 PM
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Marc McAfee - bio
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click for larger image Jackson County, Fla:

Are power bills in Jackson County getting out of control?  Many residents think so.  A handful got together Thursday afternoon to compare their bills, and didn’t like what they found. 

“Out in my neighborhood, people are choosing between heat and food,” Mary Leah Kent said.  “These people are freezing to death.”

Many held up bills that showed numbers which were doubled and tripled over what the costs were a year earlier.  The raise in kilowatt hours matched the increase in cost on the bills, but the customers didn’t trust the meters. 

“Mine’s doubled,” Jerry Richardson said.  ”And I haven’t changed a thing from last year.”

Freda Cobb, who organized the meeting, said she wanted the Governor to intervene. 

“We challenge him to send people down here, a representative, somebody,” Cobb said. 

“Because we cannot continue paying these kinds of bills, and put food on our tables.” 

Buddy Shelley, of Florida Public Utilities, says the customers are right.  Their bills have gone up—120% since 2007.

“Of course, we were starting at a very low rate to get to there,” Shelley said.
  He explained the company had once offered the best rates in the state.  But in 2007, they had to re-negotiate their contract with their power supplier, Gulf Power.  That led to several fees and other costs which added up to higher bills. 

“Yes, our rates are a little higher now, we’re probably mid-range of all the utilities in Florida,” Shelley said.

He said whatever was wrong, it wasn’t the meters.  They have accuracy ratings as high as 98%.  But if anyone suspects problems with their bill, they have a lot of options.

“If anybody has a problem or concern with how much usage they have, all they have to do is call us,” Shelley said.

“And we will send a meter man out there to check it and see if it is accurate.”

User Comments

It is time for the citizens of Jackson County to stand as ONE! We, as tax paying citizens, must unite together and utilize the rights that are afforded to us through the Constitution, Fl. Statues & other avenues to our advantage! We, the people, ultimately make the decisions as to who is in these positions of authority that are allowing the utility companies to annihilate our lives. We need presence and visibility; however, this can not be accomplished by just one disgruntled customer after another in the local FPU office while you are paying your bill. The fact that you have to choose between paying your elec. bill or having your meds & food is of little concern to them. “Chart of Base Energy & Fuel Adj. Cost” Jackson County Times dated 1/28/10. Since Sept 2007, there has been a 138.6% increase in the first 1000 KWH you use and 155.68% per KWH you use over 1000. It should also be noted that you are paying additional County & State taxes based on increased rates! Scrutinize & act now!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/29  at  08:19 PM

120% increase are they for real !!!Since 2007 that’s 60% increase a year by my math ,We’ve only been into this new year only month !!Someone better start looking into this !!I was speaking to the auditor at FPU and he said this bill didn’t even reflect the increase for this year yet,So I ask will it be another 60% increase ??? There’s been more of in increase with these yoyo’s than in wages,food,gas,cost of living increase and insurance combined. I’ve filed my complaint already with the PSC ,Will you ????Enough is a Enough !!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/29  at  02:05 PM

ive got the reason your, my, and everyones bill is so high….. cause they are crooks. but what can we do? they have a monoloply, either we pay it or we dont get eletricty. you think this is bad let the congress and senate pass cap and trade, you could add another 100-200 dollars to you bill, monthly. then not only will the local power company be raping you, the govt will be doing it more often than before.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/29  at  11:21 AM

You don’t have to look way up to Jackson County to find the same problem.
Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative has sent an auditor to my home twice now.  Our power bills have climbed at an unbelieveable rate; we have gone from having 9 of us in our home, 5 computers networked, a big screen TV going 24 hours a day, with the attendant washing machine, dryer, and water heater usage down to just the two of us, no big screen TV, and a more than substantial drop in washing machine, dryer, and water heater use.  We have also closed off two rooms and simply don’t use them any more.  Both times the auditor came out we were told there was absolutely no way we could have been using the amount of power we were billed for.  Both times we have still had to pay the inflated bill.  Our power bill for the two of us in our state of reduced usage was over $370.  Our old power bill with everyone home ran about $220…and we have no options as to where we have to get our power. Looks like theft to me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/29  at  10:27 AM
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