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Bless our heart, under authoritarian rule, loyalty is regarded as more important than competence....

Utility costs cripple economy

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Friday, February 9, 2018

My family and I moved to Greenville in 1998 from Pittsburgh, Pa. When we relocated here, we purchased a similarly sized house compared to what we had in Pittsburgh. When I got my first utility bill here, compliments of Greenville Utilities, the bill was double what I had previously paid in Pittsburgh. I was agast; however, I paid this bill, and many others.

Over the years, I came to find out that Greenville Utilities was involved in a nuclear plant deal that failed, and they accumulated a lot of debt that they passed on to customers. My bills have ranged from $700 to $1,200 per month over the years. More recently, it was my understanding that Duke Energy purchased the nuclear assets of 32 municipal agencies including, which was to lead to lower utility costs. I haven't seen it.

My bill this month was $932.07. I keep my house at 66 degrees in the winter, 72 degrees in the summer, run a gas fireplace in the evening, don't water the yard, turn off lights in rooms we aren't using, and don't wash clothes unless there are full loads. We have reinsulated the attic, and some of the walls in the house. We have new windows in most of the house. We just put on a new roof. These utility bills are ridiculous, and not sustainable.

We are near retirement, and cannot remain in our home with $1,000 month utility bills. An article in Indy Week titled "The Cost of Electricity in Eastern North Carolina is Devastating," published in 2012, highlights high utility bills in eastern North Carolina.

Enough is enough. This has to stop! It is affecting not only our economic base but our ability to attract new businesses. The Greenville City Council, our state representatives, congressmen and governor all need to act.

Lynn Johnson

Greenville

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