Madison Utilities launches social media campaign, considers rate increase

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -  A social media campaign puts Madison residents in closer contact with their utilities service provider.

A Twitter and Facebook account for the company allows customers to ask questions and receive information faster, with the goal of making the company more accessible and transparent.

"Before, we would do mailers, stuffers in the mail, on occasion, if there was a main break, we would have a recording on the phone if you called in, or put it on our website," said general manager Emory DeBord.

With Facebook and Twitter being two of the most popular and fastest social media outlets, company leaders expect to get up-to-the-minute updates to customers whenever something happens.

"We thought this was more viable way of getting those messages out," said DeBord, who hopes for more pinpointed information distribution through the social media posts.

The social media pages have already been at work as people weigh in on a possible rate increase.

In June, the company spoke with a consultant that found them noncompetitive on a fairness basis. Everyone currently pays the same base rate, regardless of meter size, but that is likely to change to a more common industry standard.

"If you have large meter and a large potential demand, need, then you'll pay more your share," said DeBord.

That change will mostly affect businesses or high demand users. But DeBord says residential users will also see a slight increase if the change takes place.

The Madison Utilities leaders will hold a public forum at 5:30 Thursday evening to allow the public to weigh in on the possible rate increase.