Painesville residents question council about electricity costs

PAINESVILLE, OH - Around a dozen people in Painesville voiced their concerns about their electric bills to city council members Monday night.

"I'm here because I want to know about my electric bill. There is a power cost adjustment every month that is about the same as a kilowatt-hour charge," said Shirley Berends.

Berends is among those who live in the Liberty Greens development who have seen an increase in their electric bills.

"For instance, my kilowatt-an-hour charge in a month is $15, and my power charge adjustment is $14.61. They are charging me as much for the adjustment as they are the bill, every month," said Berends.

And other residents claimed their electric bills haven't been consistent since their meters were installed almost 10 years ago.

"I'm here to help set the record straight. There has been a lot of questions, especially about the month of August, which had a record-setting amount of hot days. Obviously there are higher electric bills. There are higher transmission fees which go into the power cost adjustment. I know those are being questioned, as well as rates, which have not been raised in over 15 years," said Ward 3 councilman Michael DeLeone.

DeLeone lives in Liberty Greens and helped host the town hall meeting.

He says while the city runs its own electrical plant, it can't control the costs associated with additional power.

"Transmission fees go up because the electric is transferred to us through PGM. And when that happens, we have no control over those fees. Transmission costs went up," said DeLeone.

DeLeone suggests residents get an energy audit or go over their bills with the city's fiscal department.

He says people can get their meters tested if they still have concerns.