No Solution From Panel Studying Municipal Electric Debt

A legislative committee examining why electric rates for 30 eastern North Carolina municipalities are so high says more study is needed on the debt that causes eye-popping power bills and whether a solution can be found.

Chairmen of the panel released a draft of its recommendations Wednesday. They didn't include which direction the towns and cities should go to reduce or eliminate the $2.1 billion they owe on power plant investments 30 years ago.

Co-chairman Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson said there wasn't much time for the committee to offer solutions before the Legislature reconvenes in May. He said more eyes are needed on the problem the Legislature last examined in depth in the late 1990s.

Average electric costs are roughly 20 to 50 percent higher for the municipal customers.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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The legislative committee trying to find a solution to the extremely high power bills in several cities in Eastern Carolina will meet again Wednesday in Raleigh.

The committee on municipal power agency relief's co-chair, state senator Buck Newton of Wilson says they're looking for a formula to lower the bills of customers served by Electricities.

Electricities serves 32 municipalities in Eastern Carolina. Wednesday's meeting marks the third of four scheduled hearings.


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  • by ralphie Location: ahoskie on Mar 8, 2012 at 02:27 AM
    this should serve as a lesson to the federal dems: Government should NOT invest the people's money. INVESTING is a private activity! The people who did it should be stripped of all they have, and pay off the debt as much as possible...
  • by mad citizen Location: martin county on Mar 7, 2012 at 11:12 PM
    They have no intention of doing anything because they are all a bunch of crooks.
    • reply
      by Bunch Of Crooks? on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:05 AM in reply to mad citizen
      I say again, you don't HAVE to buy electricity. You could buy gas and use a generator to make your own electricity. Buy solar panels. Use candles. Buy ice at the store, instead of using a fridge, use a cooler. Card/board games, not video games. I didn't own a computer for the first 38 years of my life. While I was in college, I didn't have a TV. People think electricity is something they are entitled to have, at a minimal cost. Fact is, it's expensive to create, maintain & repair electrical utilities. It doesn't just magically appear. There is no "electricty fairy".
      • reply
        by ralphie on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:21 AM in reply to Bunch Of Crooks?
        True, no E fairy... but there should be no E TROLLS who extort and make the price of electricity twice what others pay just so a couple of pig democrats can get rich off the people.
  • by Disgusted Location: Washington on Mar 7, 2012 at 05:02 PM
    I have a 1500 sq ft home in little Washington. I have gas heat but the lowest month I have ever had was $150. During the summer I am over $300 w/ air. The kids and I are gone all day and the majority of our appliances are updated. My Moms house in Chocowinity is over 2000 sq ft, she is home all day, computers, TV and everything running all the time and she pays $125 - $150 all year round. Thats with electric heat and air. Its sickening that the exact same product can cost twice as much because I am forced to get the product (electricity) from Washington utilities. I'm moving as soon as I can!
  • by Vet Location: Greenville on Mar 7, 2012 at 04:16 PM
    Everyone should stop belly-aching and pay attention to their local governments. Everyone wants to complain about hings but the same idiots or the same type of idiots keep being elected. The rates are high because of poor decisions made on the part of regional authorities. Wake up, stop complaining and hold your local politicians accountable. Some will say that these deals were made by politicians long ago. Think about it though, either they did know and didn't care or were just ignorant and didn't know. Either way the result is the same. Quite complaining, take charge, and get involved.
  • by Dawg on Mar 7, 2012 at 04:14 PM
    Stopped using dryer and put in a clothes line, savings over $40 a month. Set temp at 60 in winter even last winter as cold as it was never an electric bill over $200, 1500 sq ft. Use cold water to wash clothes, more savings. Keep freezer full even if just containers of ice, more savings. Turn off lights when not in use and use power strips to cut power to computer, tv, etc with not in use. There is a lot that we all can do to cut our electric bill.
  • by ARGH! on Mar 7, 2012 at 04:01 PM
    Yet ANOTHER problem caused by the American Socialist Party (Democrats)
  • by Carl Kolchack Location: Pitt County on Mar 7, 2012 at 01:15 PM
    I lived in Greenville for years and had Greenville Utilities, never once had a power bill under $250.00. Now I have Progress Energy, keep the heat low (62) and turn off lights, etc when we aren't using them and my highest power bill has been $198. This winter it's been under $100 most months. The power bill isn't what's killing me, it's $4.00 per gallon gas that I need help with!
    • reply
      by $4.00 on Mar 7, 2012 at 03:29 PM in reply to Carl Kolchack
      Feel lucky. Some places pay over $8.00 per gallon.
  • by Jim Location: eastern nc on Mar 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM
    I live in the country & am not on city run utility. My house is 1600 sq ft, total electric with a heat pump and my utility bill this winter was $220 one month & has been $180 or less the other months. City run utility companies are a total rip-off. People may be forced to go back to heating one room like we did in the old days.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 08:31 AM
    You guys make me sick! I only have 650sqft, only 2 people living there, working full time jobs (so nothing is on during the day) NO HEAT OR AIR, and can't get my utility bill lower than 200/month. that's AYDEN for you right there! Not to mention the little newletter they sent out in the winter asking us to volunteer to add an extra 5-30 dollars to our monthly bill to help the less fortunate throught the rough months. I almost packed my bags and left I was so disgusted.
  • by Unhappy Resident Location: Winterville, NC on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:51 AM
    I have owned my home for 10 years and my original powere bills totaled less than $200/month. Now they run from $300-$400/month with a new HVAC, appliances, roof, etc. I understand increase's are necessary, but this is ridiculous. Winterville did not prepare for the increase in population and are using these dollars to pay for infrastructure expansion to handle the capacity. The leadership within the towns, cities, and local government bodies have not and do not serve the citizens to the best of their ability because all they are concerned about is getting re-elected. If we want change, we have to elect candidates that will fight for what is right even if it means they won't get elected during the next term.
    • reply
      by Advice/Tips on Mar 7, 2012 at 01:59 PM in reply to Unhappy Resident
      My electric bill has plumetted since I updated a few electrical hogs. My new front loading washer and all my TV/monitors (4 of them in the house) are now LCD. Just those two things have cut my power bill down by 25% or more.
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