Natural Gas on the Rise

By: Nick LaFave
By: Nick LaFave

82 YEAR OLD ELISE WILLIAMS OWNS A SMALL HOME IN LANSING. IN ONE MONTH, SHE SAW HER ENERGY BILL GO FROM 127 DOLLARS TO 162.

WILLIAMS - I just couldn't make the payment.

LIKE MANY OTHER SENIORS, SHE TURNED TO THE TRI-COUNTY OFFICE ON AGING AND IT'S CRISIS PROGRAM.

NANCY WEBER SAYS THE LOW-FUNDED PROGRAM HELPS, BUT IT CAN ONLY HELP A PERSON UP TO 150 DOLLARS ONCE PER YEAR...

WEBER - It won't last a full year

ACCORDING TO P-S-C SPOKESPERSON JUDY PALNAU, THE PRICE INCREASE IS DUE TO BASIC SUPPLY AND DEMAND, HAMPERED EVEN MORE BY THIS SUMMER'S HURRICANES.

PALNAU - There's still production that's not getting done.

THE PSC HAS ISSUED AN EMERGENCY STATUS, WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO PAY YOUR BILL UP TO FIVE DAYS LATE... AND INCREASES THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE.

IN THE MEANTIME, ELISE IS FINDING OTHER AVENUES TO TRY AND HEAT HER HOME...

WILLIAMS - I turn on my stove

AND, HOPES SHE DOESN'T SEE ANOTHER 150 DOLLAR HEATING BILL.

WILLIAMS - I'll just have to see who else can help me out.

THE PSC HAS SECURED TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO HELP THOSE WHO QUALIFY WITH THEIR BILLS... AND TO WEATHERIZE THEIR HOMES.

TO SEE WHAT PROGRAMS YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR, CALL YOUR UTILITY PROVIDER, OR THE PSC AT 1-800-292-9555.


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