Retired nurse-practitioner Hope Busto-Keyes of Tucson works to conserve energy in small and big ways. She’s always been into conservation and a nature lover.  Here, she walks in nature near her home.   Photo by Chis Hinkle

By Miriam Davidson Retired nurse practitioner Hope Busto-Keyes believes in conserving energy. “I jumped on the bandwagon in the ’70s,” the Tucson resident said. “Turning the lights off, and little things like that.” Last year, as a customer of Tucson Electric Power (TEP), Busto-Keyes, 63, wrote a letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission, the state board that regulates utility companies, urging commissioners to support TEP’s plans for energy efficiency standards and customer rebate programs. Now, Busto-Keyes and other advocates worry …

Marvin Sands (right) with AARP Missouri State Director Craig Eichelman at the AARP Volunteer Leadership Institute graduation.

In honor of National Volunteer Week, AARP’s Office of Volunteer Engagement is sharing stories about volunteers from across the country. In Missouri, Marvin Sands is being heralded as a Utilities Volunteer. Marvin has been volunteering with AARP for over a decade and is a 2014 graduate of AARP’s Volunteer Leadership Institute. Recently, he was instrumental in fighting against an unfair customer charge increase for electric customers in Independence, Missouri. Many utility companies across the country have a “customer charge,” or …

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Kansans who are struggling to pay their electric, gas and water bills are protected from having their utilities shut off during the coldest months of the year. Under the Kansas Corporation Commission’s cold weather rule, utility companies cannot disconnect services from Nov. 1 to March 31 without giving customers notice, allowing them an opportunity to work out a payment plan and informing them about agencies that can help with paying bills. The rule also prohibits utilities from disconnecting service when …

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Praises Governor, State Utility Regulators for Strong Action Statement by AARP NYS Director Beth Finkel: “AARP applauds Governor Cuomo and State Public Service Commission (PSC) Chair Audrey Zibelman for taking strong steps to clean up the troubled energy service company (ESCO) marketplace in New York and protect energy consumers. “The PSC’s review confirmed that ESCOs too often charge more for power than the state’s utility companies do despite high-pressure sales tactics claiming their services save consumers money – as AARP …

The evening of the pylon outline, is very beautiful

Ohioans overwhelmingly oppose the agreements under consideration by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that would guarantee profits for older American Electric Power (AEP) and FirstEnergy power plants, according to two independent opinion polls. AARP Ohio and the Alliance for Energy Choice jointly released the opinion polling data to alert state policymakers that that they will hear from angry Ohioans if the PUCO approves charges costing households and businesses an estimated $6 billion over eight years. Earlier this week, …

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With hearings resuming this week in Columbus, AARP is urging the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to reject a proposed settlement with FirstEnergy that would grant the electric company an unprecedented $3.1 billion bailout. “The proposed settlement is a bad deal for consumers,” says Trey Addison of AARP Ohio. “It would add $10.50 per month to residential electric bills, every month, for the next eight years.” AARP points out the proposed rate hike would subsidize FirstEnergy’s deregulated merchant power plants …

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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 …

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Charged NY Consumers 14% More than Utility Companies, Federal Data Shows ALBANY, N.Y. – With federal data showing New York’s energy service companies charged the highest residential electric prices in the nation last year – and 14% more than New York’s utility companies – AARP today called on state regulators to hold a hearing into unfair pricing. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows 2014 was no fluke; New York consumers paid at least 6.7% more to buy their electricity …

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Statement by Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP in New York State, on Approval of Long Island Power Authority 2016 Budget:          UNIONDALE, New York – “Given PSEG’s original request, AARP is pleased with the end result – and relieved for Long Islanders. We are glad LIPA was able to trim more than a third off what would have been an historically-high, $441 million three-year revenue increase. “Long Island utility consumers will still have to pay $287 million more over the …

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AARP Ohio earlier testified against the subsidy proposed by American Electric Power (AEP), which the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) soundly rejected in February, and remains opposed to granting AEP a surcharge that will cost consumers an estimated $2 billion to bail out an aging coal plant, according to Trey Addison, who leads work on state utilities issues for AARP Ohio. He notes: “Ohio’s utilities cannot have it both ways – profiting from a competitive electric market with their …