WA –Pacific Power announced Washington customers would see their energy bills increase an average of 12.2% starting May 1. This comes after an increase in electricity and natural gas prices.
According to the company, residential customers will see an increase of about 11% and companies will see an increase of about 12%. This means if you’re a residential customer currently paying $200 a month, your bill would increase about $22 a month. If you’re a company your bill would increase by about $24 a month.
Pacific Power Spokesperson Tom Gauntt said the company was forced to hike up prices to keep up with their costs. He said while this may be a challenge for some customers, Pacific Power is prepared to help.
To see if you qualify for an equal pay plan you can call Pacific Power’s assistance line at (888) 221- 7070. If they can’t help you, they’ll try to put you in touch with local resources.
Northwest Community Action Center (NCAC) in Toppenish is one place that offers an Energy Assistance Program. According to the Director Heather Elmore, this program can really help families in need.
“It helps relieve the financial burden so it relieves other dollars in their household for other things like groceries or gas or medications,” Elmore said.
This assistance is a one time benefit to help people catch up on energy bill payments or prevent their services from being disconnected. To qualify, you must meet the poverty guidelines.
NCAC also offers weatherization services. Weatherization can help cut down on energy used and as a result lower your bill.
“A lot of people’s energy bills are higher in the summer than they are in the winter due to the higher temperatures and air conditioning,” Gauntt said. “If you can get some weatherization done in your home – insulation, caulking around windows and doors whatever equipment you have, from furnace to A/C make sure that’s running optimally.”
Gauntt said there is a mechanism that tracks the increases and decreases of energy costs. If costs drop, those savings will be passed on to you.
You can find local resources to help with rent or utility payments by calling 211 or going to 211.org.
Article Source: Fox 11