53-year-old New Hampshire grandmother Kay Phaneuf died this weekend after National Grid cut her power over an unpaid bill. Phaneuf suffered from a heart condition that required her to sleep in an oxygen tent and use a plug-in oxygen machine. The worker who disconnected the power after ringing Phaneuf’s bell and waiting several minutes at the door apparently didn’t notice a big red sign that warned people not to smoke because of the oxygen machine. National Grid is claiming they followed proper procedures, but that isn’t stopping New Hampshire’s Public Utilities Commission from opening an investigation.
Having trouble paying your high power bill? The law of supply and demand may be your friend. Americans’ electricity use is decreasing for the first time since 1949. (Maybe it’s all those compact fluorescent bulbs.) This means that your electric bill could be slightly lower in the coming months…or at least not increase as much as usual.
A Reuters story says some environmental groups are going after a climate bill meant to clear the air will do no favors for consumers. The piece of legislation, which is expected to come to a vote within a couple months, is geared to slash greenhouse emissions by nearly a fifth of 2005 levels by 2020.