WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Starting Wednesday it’s going to cost you more to heat and light up your home.
And, homeowners who have both PPL Electric and UGI Utilities are getting hit twice as hard. Eyewitness News spoke with residents in Wilkes-Barre about their concerns.
You can add your electric and heating bills to the list of prices going up.
“But yet incomes aren’t meeting that need and there’s only so much that the consumer can do to combat the difference,” Hanover Township resident Susan Drake said.
Drake is on a fixed income. She is one of many area homeowners frustrated with utility rate increases.
“I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how two people raising one or even two children can make it right now,” Drake said.
Effective Wednesday, PPL raised its residential rate by 26 percent. That means electricity will go from 7 cents to 9 cents per kilowatt. Meanwhile UGI’s prices for natural gas will increase as well.
Homeowners will see their heating bill increase by nearly 10 percent. That means the average bill will go from $89.69 to $98.31.
“So for customers that are using UGI for their supply, whatever we pay for the gas commodity, we pass along to the customers,” Don Brominski of UGI Utilities said.
Residents aren’t sure how they are going to make it work.
“I’m low-income and I have two kids and it’s getting harder month by month,” Wilkes-Barre resident Teresa Burkoski said.
“It’s going to be hard for all the old people to pay for it because they are on a fixed income and it’s not looking to good the way the world’s going today,” Wilkes-Barre resident Tony Glazenski said.
“Only thing you can do is cut back or pay them, that’s the only thing you can do,” Wilkes-Barre resident Richard Wiencek said.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, let your utility company know.
“Utilities don’t know that unless you pick up the phone and tell them,” PA Public Utility Commission press secretary Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said.
Hagen-Frederiksen says utility companies know all the programs available in your community.
“You don’t need to educate yourself about that. What you need to do is make a phone call and discuss your situation with your utility representatives,” Hagen-Frederiksen said.
The 2021-2022 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is now open.
For UGI help, call 1-800-UGI-WARM. For PPL help, call 1-800-342-5775.