MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The weather is one of the factors that may have you cringing when you open up your MLGW bill. Some are seeing charges double what they normally would be.

People are opening their utility bill and getting a shock. Aren Boddie says hers is more than she expected.

“I have never had my bill that high,” Boddie said. “I am usually the person that cuts off all my lights. I run my air only when I am home and I haven’t done anything different, and it’s been like $50 higher.”

She may be lucky. On Nextdoor, neighbors complained about bills going up hundreds of dollars.

One person wrote, “MLGW is going crazy. My bill is always about $200 to $300 dollars. Last month, it was $580 and this month it is $630.”

Another person wrote, “Thank you. They charged me $767 this month and $692 last month. Normally around $300 monthly. I am tired of MLGW.”

MLGW Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Jim West said they warned about this months ago.

“It’s hard for them to believe that the increase is as much as it is,” West said. “In June, we advised everyone that TVA, our wholesale electric supplier, was increasing it’s fuel cost adjustment.”

Basically, TVA is charging MLGW more and that cost is being passed on to customers.

“We are like all public utilities, a non profit company, so we don’t have retained earnings or income that we can take that out of,” West said. “Our only real source to cover that cost is from our customers that are paying rates through their electric bill.”

He also says with the hottest summer we’ve seen in years, air conditioners are working more and that’s costing more.

MLGW says its customers pay some of the lowest utility rates in the country.

Rev. LaSimba Gray is with the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association. They sent a letter to the City of Memphis and MLGW urging careful consideration of alternative energy.

“Right now, families are suffering because many of them are sacrificing utilities trying to save. And then health issues kick in,” Gray said. “Timing could not be better than now to look into any alternative sources to electrical power.”

MLGW has temporarily suspended cutting off anyone’s utility.

“To give customers some peace of mind and, more importantly for anyone who may be behind on their bill, to give them time to reach out to us and get caught up,” West said.

MLGW encourages customers to utilize their tools, to pay in installments, adjust due dates, budget bill, and pre-pay.

They say at home keep your thermostat at 78 in the summer, clean air filters, keep blinds closed and use fans. MLGW customers can also get a home energy audit for more savings.

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If you are having trouble with your bills, MLGW says to reach out to them before cut-offs resume. They say they are short-staffed right now, so you may have to wait longer.