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Power Struggle for Reliable and Affordable Utilities

We rely on them to heat and cool our homes, light our way in the dark, and stay connected. Utility services are essential, but today’s high energy prices are adding to the growing economic hardships faced by many South Dakotans.

See Also: Fighting to Save You Money on Utilities

Older adults are especially vulnerable as energy prices continue rising, in part because they spend a far greater proportion of their income on home energy costs than younger households.

AARP recently conducted a survey asking Americans 45 and older how rising energy costs have impacted their day-to-day lives and many older Americans are struggling to keep up with their monthly bills including energy bills. Nearly 75 percent of those surveyed reported a rise in their home heating and cooling costs over the last year; nearly half (46 percent) are heating and/or cooling only certain parts of their homes. What’s more, studies show older people limit or do without food (15%), medical services (11%) and prescription medicine (11%) to pay for higher energy bills.

AARP is committed to ensuring people 50+ have reliable utilities at a fair and reasonable cost in order to live their best lives. Throughout 2011 AARP South Dakota will be conducting telephone town halls, and in-person conversations in communities all across the state. We want to hear your concerns about utility service and price. Watch our website for dates and details on upcoming events. If this issue is important to you, get involved! First, tell us how energy prices are affecting you – Take the AARP South Dakota Utility Survey or share your story. Then, join us as we work to improve affordability and service reliability for your friends and neighbors across South Dakota by sending an email to