City of Tallahassee Ready to Help Residents with High Utility Bills

Over the last several months utility customers have been vocal about their increasing bills and want relief. More and more city utility customers have been checking their meters, but some say they really don't understand how it works.

"We're going to launch a through program to help educate people. The summer is coming and we want to teach people what they can do to bring down the costs," says Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee City Commissioner.

Customers say it's about time.

"Everyone can't afford these bills and it's not a situation where people need to be disconnected, not in the summer time," says Sheena Gray, a City of Tallahassee utilities customer.

"It's increasingly getting worse, and I would please like something to be done to please help my pockets out," adds Lashaunetta Modly, also a customer.

City officials say the educational classes will help with long-term savings, but a decision has been made for some immediate relief.

"We just decided to allocate almost one million dollars toward a program to help weatherize and insulate homes throughout the community," says Andrew Gillum.

Commissioner Gillum says it has yet to be determined who will qualify, but most likely it will start with lower income homes.

"But anyone is entitled to a free audit where the city comes in and checks out their homes."

Some customers say they're skeptical about why their bills are so high lately, but are glad the city is trying to do something.

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor says he has serious concerns about the rising costs of utilities. He's asked the city for an independent audit, which the city has declined to do. Proctor says the county will continue with the audit through public records requests if necessary.