En español | For the past 20 years, AARP has been one of the only national advocacy organizations working at both the federal and state levels to fight against unfair utility rates and to help people save money on their utility bills. In these difficult economic times, we, along with our members, continue to advocate on behalf of families struggling to pay their utility bills.
Since the launch of the Multi-State Utility Campaign (MSUC) in January 2011, AARP has successfully challenged excessive utility rate increases so consumers can keep more of the money they’ve earned. We advocate for laws and policies that ensure fair and reasonable utility rates and reliable utility services.
In January 2013, the campaign will be active in 39 states, where AARP will be tackling utility affordability and reliability on multiple fronts, including within the electricity, natural gas and telecommunications industries. AARP will continue to inform members about rising energy prices and tell you how to make your voice heard at state legislatures and regulatory commissions.
Fighting for Consumer Protections
In state capitols across the nation, we work to advance legislation that protects consumers from unfair rate increases, advances consumer protections and shields consumers from cost shifting by utility companies.
For example, in 2012, AARP Iowa worked to defeat legislation that would require upfront payment of a nuclear power plant that would cost consumers billions whether it was built or not. AARP California was successful in defeating a bill that would have allowed for a high monthly charge on electric bills. In Vermont, AARP won adoption of a program to assist low income customers with their energy costs. AARP in Connecticut, the District of Columbia and Maryland worked for new laws to improve electric service reliability and storm damage recovery.
Fighting Rate Increases
AARP engages in state regulatory battles over unfair rate increases.
AARP is actively engaged in rate cases across the country. In 2012, AARP Oklahoma not only stopped a proposed rate hike, but also helped negotiate a $635,000 rate decrease for residential customers. Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) had initially requested a rate increase of approximately $73.3 million, which would have raised residential utility rates by an average of $6.60 per month. AARP Oklahoma was an official intervener in the case opposing OG&E’s requested increase and requesting that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission implement a rate decrease. AARP kept members informed of the case through emails and the media and collected more than 1,200 signed petitions from OG&E customers opposed to a rate increase. In addition, AARP Oklahoma’s Utility Watchdog Team volunteers attended numerous rate case hearings and delivered public comments.
For more information about activities locally, visit your state’s AARP web page.