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Unpaid Utility Bills Soaring As Economy Sags: Mass Shut offs looming

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posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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Unpaid Utility Bills Soaring As Economy Sags: Mass Shut offs looming


www.usatoday.com

CHICAGO — Hundreds of thousands of utility customers are at risk of disconnections as the sagging economy drives up the number of past-due home heating bills and the amounts owed, utility companies in cold-weather states say.
Xcel Energy says 17%-19% of its 1.1 million Minnesota customers and its 280,000 Wisconsin customers are in arrears. That's about the same as a year ago, but balances owed are up 10% in Minnesota and up 20% in Wisconsin, says Pat Boland, Xcel's credit policy manager.

Xcel disconnects 600-650 customers daily, he says. "Obviously the economy is playing a very big role in the disposable income that folks have," Boland says. Another factor: Cold weather added 7%-8% to this year's bills.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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How sad our situation is quickly becoming...Yet another casualty of the mess we're in---People running the risk of freezing to death because they can no longer afford the necessities of life. And yet our idiotic leaders are STILL claiming we're not in a recession...I don't know if they'll EVER admit it.

This is just sad.



Elsewhere:

• Central Maine Power Company says that as of March 31, 29,000 of its 537,000 residential customers had not paid anything on their accounts since December — a 4% increase from 2007.

Northern Utilities, which supplies natural gas to 26,000 residential and business customers in Maine, says the amount owed by customers whose bills are 30-60 days past due is up 45% from the first quarter of 2007.

Northern's customers in New Hampshire and accounts at sister company Bay State Gas in Massachusetts have similar arrearages, says spokeswoman Sheila Doiron.

• In River Falls, Wis., a city of 14,000, service to a dozen homes with overdue bills was discontinued by River Falls Municipal Utilities this month, says customer service supervisor Jan Lorenz. The utility has 5,800 customers. "In past years, nobody would be shut off," she says.

Home foreclosures and high gasoline prices are part of the problem. "We see people that just move in the middle of the night and they're gone," Lorenz says. "We have people say, 'I can't afford gas to go to work, so how can I pay my bills?' "




www.usatoday.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:15 AM
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Man am I ever one of them! Had to skip the utility payments for a few months to keep the mortgage paid. My budget is pretty tight, and increased gas and grocery bills for a family of four have completely dissolved the amount budgeted for recurring bills. Gotta love a $1,700 utility bill.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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Nothing to see here, just the 3rd worldizing of our country.


Please just move along......



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:19 AM
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you know what's really weird about this? We got our electric bill just yesterday, and it was the lowest it's EVER been in the 10 years since I bought the house we live in.

Weird.

telafree



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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If you are going to be honest about it and cut all of the B.S., what you are really seeing here is gas companies price gouging American citizens at their most vulnerable point. They realize that people need heat so they arent afraid to jack up costs of natural gas and heating oil. Just like the scum know that people have to drive to and from work, so they beat us over the head at the gas pump as well.

My home gas bill was over $700 for two months and I only have gas heating, no appliances. It is highway robbery, and with all of the costs going up with food and basically eveything else, it doesnt suprise me that many are having to let their utilities go in order to feed and shelter themselves.

If or when this whole economic mess is corrected and things are back to normal, I personally feel like the gas and oil company executives should be dragged before congress and made to answer for their actions of greed. Bleeding people at their lowest moment is not only in seriously poor taste but should be illegal as well.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:40 AM
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Everyone wants in on the action! things are going south faster than you can say "what?" the.....

Everyone's nervous- threats just keep rolling in. Daily. Its been cold right up into this week and the folks have had a rough winter-of course, nothing like next winter, if the sun shines and the creek dont rise....that's the plan.
None of this will cease until people take to the streets. guaranteed.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:46 AM
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I have to agree with you dgtempe...The greed of these energy and fuel companies is without a ceiling---They simply are raping this nation, and people are being hit by so many angles now that something HAS to break. Food, Housing, Gas, Utilities, Horrible Job Market---What the hell else is there left.

And these people just keep reaching deeper into the pockets of folks they have helped to 'pauperize'. You can only squeeze so much blood out of a turnip...



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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One other thing that these utility companies know is that we need their service in order to protect our investment - our home.

Shut of the heat in the middle of winter, you get frozen pipes which you won't know about until they thaw and pour gallons of water throughout your house.

Very frustrating....



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by DCFusion
 




Not to mention if someone has kids, they are going to kill themselves to do whatever they need to do to keep the heat on. Many areas are still in winter mode and most parents will fight tooth and nail to keep their families warm.

On a different note, it is a traumatic event, a real blow to ones ego, to have the gas man come in front of all of your neighbors and take that big wrench out and turn your gas off in broad daylight in front of everyone. Humiliating, a real kick in the cajones. Some would rather starve and pay their bill than to suffer such humiliation.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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Well I guess now's the time to have a baby or let great grandma move in...
see by law they cant shut off your power or gas if you have either an infant or elderly person who needs power for O2 or other life support....

if you have neither of the two listed then the utility companies are quite content to let you freeze to death...



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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Funny, I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. I truly enjoy these "downfall of the USA" stories and reports. By the end of this year, the USA could become the new Mexico of this continent, with US citizens trying to sneak into Canada for a chance at the good life. I laugh my ass off just picturing big fat overweight pompous Americans being hurled back over the fence. Arharharhar, he he he, ha ha ha! Teach! Karmatic payback for treating those other "Earth Citizens" as second rate humans during these last year when those pompous hoity toity elitist BIGOTS were tossing Mexicans back over the fence. I publicly put a super duper curse upon the USA when they started acting like that towards their fellow mankind citizens, and I said there will come a day when THEY themselves will be sorry for the way they have acted, and I'm so tickled with delight to see everything is proceeding AS PLANNED. Funny, funny, funny. Isn't karma WONDERFUL? Yup!



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:27 PM
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a lot of electric companies do help out people who have low incomes. I dont know if your EC does it, but ours does. When my husband wasn't working and we couldn't pay our bills on time, they helped us out by letting us make lower payments. Before blasting the electric company at least ask if they have some sort of helping program. I would be shocked if a company doesn't have one.

WE've had bad times, don't get me wrong. I really sometimes hate the electric company. for example: We had our electricity turned off the same week as Christmas,

they can be hard asses and make your life a living hell.

We are lucky now as our bills are lower (i m thinking those lightbulbs that we got are actually helping, and both of us are trying very hard to make sure all lights are out when we are gone during the day, and only use the lights with the special lightbulbs when it's dark. Whatever it is, we must be doing something right for our bill to be so dang low.

Tela


+3 more 
posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by Divinorumus
Funny, I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. I truly enjoy these "downfall of the USA" stories and reports. By the end of this year, the USA could become the new Mexico of this continent, with US citizens trying to sneak into Canada for a chance at the good life. I laugh my ass off just picturing big fat overweight pompous Americans being hurled back over the fence. Arharharhar, he he he, ha ha ha! Teach! Karmatic payback for treating those other "Earth Citizens" as second rate humans during these last year when those pompous hoity toity elitist BIGOTS were tossing Mexicans back over the fence. I publicly put a super duper curse upon the USA when they started acting like that towards their fellow mankind citizens, and I said there will come a day when THEY themselves will be sorry for the way they have acted, and I'm so tickled with delight to see everything is proceeding AS PLANNED. Funny, funny, funny. Isn't karma WONDERFUL? Yup!



Laugh it up a*****e, Im sure your "super duper" curse is working as expected
Nice to try and blame honest, working class Americans for things that they have no control over. Also, you ever consider that your Mexican invasion probably has a heck of a lot to do with the reason our economy is sinking down the tubes?

Your post was a complete waste of time. Enjoy your pathetic little life Troll.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:47 PM
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Folks, I got to rain on the parade a little bit.

Heat, electricity, water, and sewer; the basic utilities any home or business is important. Many states have cold weather rules that do not allow these to be turned off during the traditional cold season. Outside that season, time to pay up either in full or arrangements. As was stated, some utilities will really help you out to keep them from going off.

One thing I noticed right away reading all the posts. Seems like everyone whining has money to pay for internet service. There may be a person or two using the internet at work to post here, maybe even using the library computers. But really, I don't get my service for free.

A person needs to put priorities in proper order. Internet service would be below house payment and utilities. Maybe the same as eating out for supper, but below putting food in the pantry.

Before you all think of me as a complete as***le, I used to be a utility superintendent for a small town. I absolutely hated to turn off water and power when the family had little kids looking at me. It was tough for them and it was tough on me.

We all have bills to pay, all you have to do is live within your means.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by hinky
 


Excellent post! I was thinking about the priorities issue myself while reading alot of the posts here. Seems like people need to wake up and determine that internet, cable TV, and buying new MP3s on iTunes is supposed to take a back seat to necessities of life, such as vital utillity bills and mortgage/rent payments.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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Laugh it up a*****e, Im sure your "super duper" curse is working as expected
Nice to try and blame honest, working class Americans for things that they have no control over. Also, you ever consider that your Mexican invasion probably has a heck of a lot to do with the reason our economy is sinking down the tubes?

Your post was a complete waste of time. Enjoy your pathetic little life Troll.



"Nice to try and blame honest, working class Americans for things that they have no control over."

LMFAO.. ahahahahahah!! that's one of the most hilariously ignorant comments ever!! LMAO.. ahahahahahah

It's totally the average americans fault.. right down to the last drop..
where to even start? lazy, greedy, over feed, over paid, under skilled, under educated

you guys totally made your bed, now you gotta lay in it... but the problem is, your taking alot of people down with you..

this is absolutely the peoples fault and you need to stop playing the VICTIM. you have had ample time to fix your country.

[edit on 25-4-2008 by pynner]



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by hinky

One thing I noticed right away reading all the posts. Seems like everyone whining has money to pay for internet service. There may be a person or two using the internet at work to post here, maybe even using the library computers. But really, I don't get my service for free.


My internet service with a home phone added on costs me 55.00 per month. Wish I could say the same for utilities which go up each year, sometimes up to a 50% increase.

Face it, we the consumer can not pay everyone's increasing costs, particularly when the wages don't go up and many layoffs in the last few years. Also many companies are cutting hours, etc.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 02:04 PM
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The problems in the US economy are just so vast we're all going to be dining with our old friend Austerity soon enough. No matter where we live on God's Good Earth.

Nevertheless it's difficult not to feel a little bit of schadenfreude when we look at the USA. I read a post on another forum a week or so ago from a US contributor whose utility bill was so high he didn't know how he could afford to heat his outdoor pool ... how I laughed. Outdoor pool indeed. My heart bleeds.

I'm sitting here typing away & the house is pretty damned chilly. That's cos I turned the heating off the 1st week of April. The hot water tank is just never switched on except when there's a danger of the pipes freezing. I'm sitting with one light on & that's a low energy bulb too. The only other thing switched on, apart from this ol' craptop, is the tv set. And if I could be arsed getting up I'd switch that off too. My home is all electric and I'm paying £22 pcm. $44. Perhaps the reputation Scots have for penny pinching is justified.

US folks face some really difficult choices, of that I'm sure. But some of us never had your choices in the first place. That's why folks overseas are rather indifferent to your current woes.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by hinky
 

I hate to be the first to dissapoint you, but i use dial up NETZERO which is a joke, at best, but it gets me here and there.
Comcast here is the entire package, that be $150.00/month. No way.
$300/month electricity
$600 month/oil and climbing >>>>
Plus what, $200 in food every week here if i want to see anything of any substance in the refrigerator???

Of course, none of this would phase me if mom and dad paid the tab.




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