Electricity rate hike not sitting well with customers

Posted at: 04/03/2014 12:02 AM

Get ready. Your electric bill could be going up this month.

RG&E says it could be as much as 20 percent.

Now, Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for an investigation. He’s afraid suppliers might take advantage of you.

Why is this is happening? And what can you do to soften the blow?

RG&E and other companies say it isn't their fault. They say they don't raise the prices, the energy suppliers do.

So we wanted to know, why the increase at all?

Dan Hucko, Spokesperson for RG&E says, “For us, this winter it has been a very cold, very long winter. The demand has gone right up, and taken the price with it.”

Customers like Lou Daniels have noticed.

“When I got on my computer Monday morning, and found out what the rate was I was amazed at how much it changed.”

Daniels noticed what RG&E officials call a "true-up." 

The company estimates what electric prices will be the month before. And in January they ran into a problem.

“We locked in that price meanwhile the market price, the actual price, went way up. Now three months later it is time to do what we call a true-up.”

So for people like Daniels, that means a 20% increase in his bill.

“If you have to budget for an extra $300 a month that is pretty prohibiting,” said Daniels.

But there are things you can do now to save money in the long run.

“We have a number of energy efficacy programs where you can give cash incentives for people to buy high efficacy lighting, high efficacy appliances like stoves and heaters and things like that,” said Hucko.

And not to add more bad news to this story, RG&E says next month there will be another increase.