Coloradans Brace for Higher Energy Bills in Summer
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Coloradans are not likely to see much relief in their utility bills any time soon, as a late May cold spell gives way to the full heat of summer.
Fuel disruptions due to the conflict in Ukraine, unbridled oil company profits and other factors have produced higher energy costs for all Americans.
Denise Stepto - chief communications officer with Energy Outreach Colorado - said Colorado's most vulnerable residents are facing tough decisions about whether to pay rent, buy food and medicine, or pay their utility bill.
"People on fixed incomes, seniors, these are all people who are always doing that juggling act," said Stepto, "especially when we have these unknown, unexpected increases, which is what the energy sector is looking like right now."
Stepto said help is available for people at risk of being disconnected, and repairing or replacing broken cooling systems, by calling Energy Outreach Colorado's helpline toll free at 866-432-8435.
Last week, the helpline fielded nearly two thousand calls. Since October, Energy Outreach Colorado has approved more than $9 million to help households pay utility bills.
As a warming climate promises even more summer days above 100 degrees, Stepto said folks should continue to monitor their utility bill, and take steps to keep homes cool.
Keep your thermostat set between 74 and 78 degrees. And to keep cool air in and heat out of your home, caulk cracks and gaps around doors and windows.
"Cooling is, in many ways, just as dangerous for your health as not having heat in your home," said Stepto, "particularly for people with health conditions."
Xcel Energy has started to roll out a new time-of-use program, where households are charged different rates in an effort to shift electricity use away from the peak hours between 3 and 7 pm.
Stepto said resources to help avoid using energy during higher impact times are available at 'energyoutreachcolorado.org'
"You come home from work and you throw in a load of laundry," said Stepto, "that's going to be a very expensive load of laundry. So you're going to want to wait until after 7 p.m., when you don't incur the cost."
get more stories like this via email
The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…
Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…
Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …
By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…
The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …
As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …
2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …
Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…