If you haven’t opened your latest Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) bill yet, you may want to brace yourself. Many customers are finding some of their highest bills ever, and there may not be much relief in sight.
MLGW blames rising fuel prices and increased electricity use in the summer for the increase. But that excuse isn’t flying with customers already struggling to make ends meet.
“You see what it was right there? That’s what it was last month: $301. And guess what I’m paying this month? $509,” said MLGW customer Samuel Reid.
The latest bills have sent shockwaves across Shelby County.
“They ain’t going to try to help nobody as long as they get their money,” said Reid.
The utility said the reason was the rising fuel prices it has to pay and the increased use of electricity during a hot summer.
“Mine was $985. Mine was right at $950.00.”
Raymond Callahan lives in a three-bedroom house. He said this price hike is pushing him to cut back.
“Like washing clothes and stuff. I have to wait until early in the morning. Like five or six in the morning. Or I just leave my fans running all day and cut my air conditioning off,” said Callahan.
Rising inflation already has the cost of just about everything up. Customers said this utility hike is an added expense they must pay.
“I just keep my fan on high and the A/C low. Just have to keep making changes and things of that nature,” said Callahan.
It’s not unusual for bills to go up in the summer because people are running their A/C more to stay cool. But are we seeing the increase MLGW predicted?
“Every two weeks, you’re getting another bill, and it’s extremely high,” said
Last month, MLGW announced customers’ bills could jump between 20% and 40%. So FOX13′s Dominique Dillon put those percentages to the test.
This month, her MLGW bill was $156.00. Last July, it was $111.00. That’s a 41% increase.
FOX13 spoke with another MLGW customer. She didn’t want to appear on camera, but let us compare her bills. July of last year, her bill was $544.00. This July, it is $638.00. A 17% increase.
Some tips to save include turning your thermostat up a few degrees, closing off rooms you don’t use, and using a fan when you’re in a room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms.
If you need help paying your bill, MLGW and several area charities have programs that may be able to help.
CLICK HERE for more information.
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