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Marcola residents say their December power bills skyrocketed

Emerald People's Utility District customers meet in Marcola on Jan. 22, 2018 after they said their power bills spiked in December due to the company’s new three-tier billing system. (SBG)

MARCOLA, Ore. -- When Marcola residents got their power bill this month, they got a little hot under the collar.

Emerald People's Utility District customers say their power bills skyrocketed for the month of December due to the company’s new three-tier billing system.

Customers and company representatives met at Marcola Elementary Monday to discuss the recent price hike.

EPUD attributed the price hike to a cold December.

In April, EPUD switched from a flat-rate system to a tier-rate system.

Saying they switched as an incentive so higher energy users can try to find ways to reduce their energy use.

One customer says his bill doubled in December, but he sorted his billing issue out a few days ago. He visited Monday night’s meeting for some clarity.

"Supposedly, it was voted for by the board members we voted in, so it's all on the up-and-up,” EPUD customer Joe Nation said, “but people weren't as aware of it as they should've been until they got their bill, and then all of a sudden, it's like, whoa, wait a second, what's going on."

EPUD says they received great input and turnout from their customers.

“We take electricity for granted until the bill goes up or the power goes out, and that's the two times we hear from customers,” EPUD General Manager Scott Coe said, “but it's a great time to tune up our business and see how we can do better."

EPUD will meet with 22 community-selected board members in April to discuss the new rates which are based off the previous year's rates.

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