COLORADO SPRINGS — Many customers are taking to social media, voicing their shock at the price on their Colorado Springs Utilities bill.
Richard Lancaster, a concerned customer, wrote a paper outlining his disapproval of the way the price increase was presented. He says after crunching numbers, he expects his heat bill this month to be about double the cost of last year's.
"They're not helping people get an idea of what the future looks like, even though they know this rate increase goes through the entire winter."
CSU says natural gas costs are "now almost 100% higher than this time last year because of a combination of supply concerns and rising demand".
They say they usually adjust prices quarterly to accommodate fluctuating costs, and this price increase could be short-term depending on whether or not they see and decrease in February 2022.
Lancaster is retired and says he is not worried about himself, but others who may not be as financially stable as he is.
"I'll eat this, you know, everybody has to… It's more about the people that, in the lower income, where they are in probably an older property, less efficient, and probably equipped with a less energy efficient furnace."
CSU says they "know this is a difficult time for our customers to experience increased rates" and we have several programs to help customers with their bills:
- Project COPE: CSU's own payment assistance program.
- Low-Income Energy Assistance Program: Federal support with applications open until April 30.
- Home Energy Assistance Program: Partnership with the Energy Resource Center
- Pikes Peak United Way 2-1-1: Offering referrals for other types of assistance
- Flexible Payment Plans through CSU
- Payment arrangement for businesses who are customers