Local advocates see higher energy bills

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:18 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - While it’s been a mild couple of weeks, one local organization says energy bills aren’t reflecting that.

Those with Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials said from September to December, the number of clients needing help with energy bills rose by 75%, and the bills they are seeing are eye opening.

Marketing coordinator Mark Schneider said they are seeing bills all the way up to the $500 to 600 range.

Intake worker Janice Weiland said some bills have been double or triple what people would usually pay the year before which is making it hard for the people they serve.

“People that call say they use the same usage, but it’s gone up so much and when you double something and you’ve already planned and budgeted for what you can pay, it makes it hard to meet those needs,” Weiland said.

Schneider said increased supply costs are the reason for the higher bills.

“We’ve seen an increase in supply costs for natural gas and electricity,” he said. “There are things that you can do to reduce your usage of that energy but you are still going to see that increase, it’s unfortunate,” Schneider said.

Schneider said it’s very concerning as higher bills, combined with the increase in demand, is putting pressure on their services to the point they are worried they might run out of money to pay for utility help.

He said people can turn the heat down slightly or put on extra layers of clothing to help.

He said they are expecting a cold February, and they are encouraging people who need help to reach out as soon as possible and not wait until it’s too late. He said if they were to run out of finds for their energy assistance program, they would work with other local organizations to continue to provide help to people.

If you feel like you need energy assistance or would like to inquire, you can call Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials at (217) 224-8271, extension 2 for Energy Assistance.

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