Lynedia Gregg of Knoxville said her utility bill has skyrocketed.
Gregg said, "I think it's ridiculous! We're in here with coats and
sweaters and we're not using any more electricity than we were using. I went
online, it hasn't come in the mail yet, I wanted to check. $439."
Gregg said that's almost $240 higher than her November 2012 bill. And she's
not alone. A lot of East Tennesseans are experiencing similar shock.
Sarah Frankel, owner of Crush Boutique in Knoxville's Old City, said she's
also noticed a big change.
Frankel said, "My electric bill from December 20th to January 20th
Frankel showed copies of her Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) bills. She was
charged $370.77 for her shop's utility use for the period ending on December
20, 2012. For the period ending January 22, 2013, Frankel owes %538.78.
"It's outrageous for a small business. It's very expensive right
now," said Frankel.
Mike Allison, Customer Service Supervisor for KUB, said the company no
longer estimates utilities cost, a practice some thought the company was
continuing to do. Allison said the spike can simply be blamed on the cold
"The colder it gets outside, even though you don't change the setting
on your thermostat, the more your heating unit has had to work to keep that
home at that comfortable temperature," said Allison.
Gregg said she keeps her thermostat on 63 degrees and never changes it.
Still, Gregg says the price increase is tough to take.
"There are so many in this city who may not be able to pay that
absorbent amount for their electricity. It's going to be whether they eat or
have heat," Gregg said.
KUB says they offer a balanced payment plan in which customers pay basically
the same amount every month; however, that is not an option for businesses.
You may contact KUB by calling (865) 524 - 2911 or online at www.kub.org.