— As AARP Missouri looks ahead to the 2017 Missouri legislative session, several rate hike proposals by the state’s monopoly utilities are staring us in the face. Starting this month, Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) will have public hearings on their rate case to raise rates by an average of $9.00 per month for each residential customer. A similar proposal by Ameren Missouri will hold public hearings in January. Hearing dates are noted below for December KCP&L hearings and customers …

— As state regulators consider National Grid’s proposed 24 percent increase in the natural gas delivery rate for Long Islanders, AARP is playing a leading role among advocates opposing the hike, calling it unaffordable for thousands of families. At three public hearings this year, AARP New York officials were sharply critical of the proposal. National Grid is seeking an additional $146 million in annual revenue from delivery rate increases in 2017. If approved, the typical residential customer would pay about $198 …

— By: Mark Nichols, Associate State Director Advocacy   Whether you’re a customer of Oklahoma Gas and Electric or the Public Service Company of Oklahoma, you could see significant increases in your electric bills by the end of this year. Did you know electric utilities cannot just raise your rates any time they want?  They have to go through the Corporation Commission, an elected group of three officials, who have to study and approve rate increase requests.  This means that YOU, …

— As utility companies continue to ask the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve rate hikes, AARP Missouri is asking that customer charges be capped. These monthly fixed fees—included in every residential customer’s bill—disproportionately penalize those who use little electricity. In 2015, Kansas City Power & Light asked to increase its customer charge to $25, up from $9, and to raise rates 15.8 percent overall. Consumer advocates and volunteers objected at public hearings, and their comments helped whittle the increases …

— Nearly 1 million Kansans absorbed utility rate increases this year, but the hikes would have been steeper if AARP had not intervened. In October, nearly 700,000 Westar Energy customers and nearly 250,000 Kansas City Power and Light customers were hit with rate increases. Residential customers’ bills were expected to go up about $7 per month on average. Both utility companies had requested more. AARP thanks Kansans who contacted or testified before the Kansas Corporation Commission to mitigate the rate increases. …

— Column by AARP Colorado State Director Morie Smile Since 1984, the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel has represented ordinary consumers when utility companies attempt to raise their rates. The office has saved Coloradans an estimated $1.7 billion in energy and telecommunications rates. But now, some special interests are trying to shut down the office, and we shouldn’t allow that to happen. The seven-member OCC represents residential, small business and agricultural consumers in telecom, electric and gas cases before the state …

— The Missouri Public Services Commission (PSC) is holding public hearings this month on a nearly 10% rate hike requested by Ameren Missouri. Ameren, the largest electric utility in the state, has already been allowed to raise rates on customers by over $600 million – or 43% – through Fuel Adjustment Clause Surcharges. Two hearings have already been held in the St. Louis Area: one in South County and the second in Ferguson. Hundreds of consumers and AARP members attended the …

— By Tim Poor For Elisabeth Boone, rising utility rates are literally hitting home. “I live in an old house that is not exactly tight,” said Boone, 68, from Brentwood. “I watch the rates go steadily up and up. I’ve watched my own utility bills go up.” That’s one reason Boone was among 70 volunteers who recently agreed to be watchdogs for a new AARP Missouri program that aims to get citizens involved in the public utilities’ rate process. “We do …

Utility Rates

— Many older Wisconsinites are barely able to make ends meet each month. They dedicate themselves to conserving their home energy usage, trying to keep their bills more affordable and within their budget. But these seniors on fixed incomes could lose this control if a request from three utility companies to dramatically increase their fixed customer charges is approved by the state Public Service Commission (PSC). We can’t let that happen. Fortunately, there’s still time to fight this rate increase before it’s approved by …

— Contacts:  dirwin@aarp.org, Erik Kriss 518-447-6723 ekriss@aarp.org Utilities Charge Customers $10M/Yr. to Push Regulators for Some of Highest Rates in Nation; Consumers Lack Seat at Table, AARP Says Watchdog Needed NEW YORK, New York – New Yorkers pay the highest average residential electric rates in the continental United States, and when it comes utility companies pressing for even higher rates, the cards are always stacked against consumers.  A new AARP report released today details just how unfair the equation is, showing …