Utility Bill Clinics delve into ways to save $$$

            Thanks to those who attended CUB’s presentations on how to save on energy bills and Utility Bill Clinics. We hosted these events throughout the month of April at or near all four locations of Outpost Natural Foods, a CUB Small Businessr all four locations of Outpost Natural Foods, a CUB Small Business member.

           The sessions represented an opportunity for utility customers to dive in and find out ways to save. Topics explored include: Simple Steps Toward Savings, Time-of-Use Rates and Are They Right for You? and an overview of some of the key cases in front of the Public Service Commission this year.

           The one-on-one sessions delved into more detail on Time of Use rates and when they are good for customers to take advantage of, as well as the impact of increases in monthly Fixed Charges on customers’ bills.

           We Energies of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. recently announced plans to increase fixed fees. Fixed charges generally average about between $10 and $11 a month around the country, but these utilities are proposing to hike them to more than $17 for We Energies and to $24 for WPS customers.

           This video, part of our presentations at Outpost, was produced by a coalition of organizations that work across the country to challenge increases in these fees. Check it out below:

           Customers we spoke with expressed disappointment at how high the fixed charges have become in recent years. “How come I’m getting charged so much when I don’t have a gas dryer or a gas stove?” a Wauwatosa resident asked. CUB gets involved mostly on electric utility issues but what’s really irking customers, we’ve found, are the high fixed fees that hit natural gas bills year-round even though most customers typically use natural gas often only in the winter.

           Below are some of the other topics we covered at our Outpost sessions To schedule a session with Ways to Save and Utility Bill Clinic at your workplace, community or civic organization, contact Tom Content at 608-251-3322, ext. 12 or content@cubwi.org.