HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville Utilities customers are experiencing rate shock on their latest bill as the global energy crisis drives up prices, forcing families to make key financial decisions.
The increase has become an issue for the Davis family in New Market. With three small children, they say it’s been tough to keep up and they are now searching for answers.
Now is the time of the year for school supplies. So, when they saw their utility bill almost doubled from June to July they were stunned.
“It hurts my pocket, and it hurts my feelings,” Elizabeth David told News 19. “I’m irritated because we expected it to increase some because of the temperature.”
Davis says that the increase in the cost of utilities has her wondering what the reason for the increase is.
“I would at least like a reason to know where all of our extra money is going and how it’s going to benefit us in the standard of living in the area,” said Davis.
Huntsville Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) say that the rising cost of fuel has changed the landscape and customers are bearing the brunt. The fuel costs are what the TVA pays for natural gas and the supply to homes that generate electricity.
“At the TVA we’re doing everything possible to keep those prices low because we are public power, we are not in it to make money,” said Scott Fielder, a spokesperson for TVA. “We’re your power company and it allows us to keep rates as low as possible.”
Before recent events, Huntsville Utilities says that the kilowatt rate typically moves 2 to 3 cents per month. Because of this sharp rise in fuel costs, the residential rate per kilowatt rate for June increased to 10 cents.
Energy officials can only offer tips to keep your rate lower, like closing the blinds, grilling outdoors more than usual, and turning the thermostat to where the home is 78 degrees minimum inside. For the Davis family with a newborn baby, that is a lot to ask.
“That’s is way too hot for my kids and for my pets. Just to go inside from 110 degrees outdoors to 78 indoors doesn’t cool down the body temperature enough to make a difference,” explained Davis.
The TVA says that most of the bill comes from how much energy you use and unfortunately for a lot of families in the area, they will feel that painful increase until further notice.