For the last 20 years, AARP has been the only national advocacy organization working at both the federal and state levels to help people save money on their utility bills. In 2010 alone, AARP members fought unfair utility rate increases in states across the nation, helping to save consumers at least $3 billion. And even now, in these difficult economic times, we, along with our members, continue to advocate on behalf of families struggling to pay their utility bills.
In 2011, AARP is launching a multistate national campaign to help members save money on utility bills. The campaign will work to:
• Challenge utility rate increases.
• Oppose excessive utility bill increases so consumers can keep more of the money they've earned.
• Ensure that utility companies receive only what is fair and reasonable.
• Provide consumers with affordable and reliable utility services.
Initially, the campaign's focus will be on the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Wyoming, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and West Virginia. For more information about work in these states, click here…
AARP will also be out in force at state capitols and regulatory commissions to help people save money on their home energy bills.
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.
•In 2010, AARP New York helped pass legislation to protect consumers from deceptive marketing tactics by energy companies. The Energy Consumer Bill of Rights bars energy suppliers from using deceptive marketing tactics when selling electricity to consumers and small businesses.
Fighting Rate Increases
AARP engages in state regulatory battles over unfair rate increases.
•In 2010, AARP Florida challenged and helped reduce utility rate increases requested by the state's largest utilities. The Florida Power & Light Co., a utility with 4 million customers, asked for a $1.3 billion increase. Because of AARP's advocacy, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) knocked that increase down to $75 million, reducing customers' rates by almost $200 per year. In addition, Progress Energy, a company with 1.6 million customers, requested a $500 million increase. Because of AARP's advocacy, the PSC denied the increase, saving customers an average of more than $150 per year. AARP's advocacy on these two cases combined saved Florida consumers more than $1.7 billion.
Fighting for Consumer Protections
AARP works to ensure consumers have reliable, affordable utility services.
•In 2010, AARP Maryland advocated for and won a new regulation that will protect residents from electricity shutoffs during extreme temperatures. The new rule, issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission, will prohibit the disconnection of utility service during a 72-hour period after the National Weather Service issues a forecast that includes a high of 32 degrees or colder, or 95 degrees or warmer.
For more information about AARP's national campaign to hold down your utility costs, go to…